Money to be matched 3:1 with federal funds
A state-run shooting range located in northern Wisconsin’s Iron County will undergo improvements to expand opportunities and make the range safer thanks to a nearly $15,000 donation from the National Rifle Association’s Public Range Fund Grant Program.
Keith Warnke, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hunting and shooting sport coordinator, accepted a check in the amount of $14,700 from the NRA late last year for the Snaketrack Public Shooting Range project.
This was the third grant awarded by the NRA Public Range Fund in 2012 for upgrading public ranges in Wisconsin. The first two, each for $25,000, were for the Yellowstone Lake State Park range in Lafayette County and the McMiller Range in the Southern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest.
Warnke says the NRA grants, totaling nearly $65,000, will be matched at a three-to-one rate from Wisconsin’s share of federal Pittman-Robertson dollars. When all is said and done, the NRA grants and required state match will represent an investment of more than $250,000 towards the improvement of the three very popular ranges.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp noted that with an estimated 800,000 shooters in the state, the Wisconsin DNR has a long history of promoting safe and accessible shooting opportunities, including a commitment to providing ranges on public lands. The dozen or so state-run public ranges are considered generally heavily used and several are in need of repairs and maintenance work.
“These grants, generously given from the National Rifle Association, will really help us to fulfill our commitment to improve and increase public awareness of, and access to, quality, safe shooting opportunities at public ranges,” Stepp said.
The Pittman-Robertson grant revenues are taxes that are paid by shooters and hunters on ammunition and equipment, “so it’s only fitting we’re putting the money right back into providing more shooting opportunities,” she said.
NRA Senior Field Representative Scott Taetsch thanked Secretary Stepp and the DNR for having implemented this much needed program, stating that the NRA, with its vast experience and resources in shooting ranges, was proud to assist in building more public ranges in Wisconsin.
The NRA Public Range Grant Fund was created in 2009 to address the lack of public shooting ranges nationwide. Through this matching grant program, the NRA is working with city and county governments and state and federal agencies to build and improve public shooting ranges across the country.
For more information on the NRA Public Range Fund Grant Program or to apply for a grant, please visit http://range.nra.org/public-range-fund-grant-program.aspx.