A Fish & Wildlife Department grant program creating more access to safe places to shoot is continuing in 2014.
Shooting clubs, sportsmen’s groups and government agencies involved in the operation of shooting ranges, including archery ranges, have until 4:30 p.m. on May 16, 2014 to submit applications for grants to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The Shooting Range Improvement Grant Program encourages improvement of shooting ranges and enhances their safety and operation. The grant period begins July 1, 2014.
“This program is both a great help to fish and game clubs looking to improve their facilities and to hunters and shooters looking for places to sight in their rifles and hone their skills,” said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry. “Increased range opportunities encourage hunters to become more proficient with firearms and promote safe and responsible gun handling.”
Examples of projects that could be eligible for funding include shooting range re-development, noise abatement structures, safety berms, shooting pads and stations, and the construction or improvement of access roads and parking lots. Grant money also can be used for lead mitigation by recycling, reducing range floor surface drainage or liming range property.
The department anticipates making a total of $25,000 available this year. These funds come from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program and are derived from Federal excise taxes on hunting, shooting and fishing equipment. This is a 75 percent reimbursement grant program and requires a 25 percent non-federal match from the grant recipient, which can come through ‘in-kind’ match, such as volunteer labor and donated equipment or cash.
Associated federal rules include a requirement that a range receiving one of these grants provide at least 20 hours of public use per month when in operation, and the facility must be open and available at reasonable times to hunter education courses. Vermont nonprofit organizations, municipalities and clubs are eligible.
The deadline to apply is May 16, 2014. For further information or to download an application packet, visit the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department website at www.vtfishandwildlife.com. Click on “Hunting and Trapping,” and then on “Shooting Ranges in Vermont.” Or, contact Chris Saunders, Hunter Education Coordinator at (802) 343-5487.
Media Contacts: Chris Saunders (802) 343-5487 or Steve Gomez (802) 583-7176