Presenter: Steve Hall

Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Action
Target Range Grant Funding
August 21, 2008

I. Executive Summary: The department provides grants to qualifying third-party applicants for the development of target range and hunter education facilities. Applications are reviewed annually, and grant projects are approved for construction, pending availability of funds. The criteria used to rate applications were revised last year, primarily to accommodate a new shotgun sports program in the high schools.

II. Discussion: With support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Assistance, the department administers a target range grant program. Funds are available to qualifying applicants from both private and public sectors that provide public use of their facilities and open them to hunter education. Applicants provide twenty-five percent (25%) of the total project cost; with federal grant funds made available through the state's "hunter safety apportionment," providing the balance or seventy-five percent (75%). The "Target Range Agreement" is the long-term contract that allows a successful applicant to enhance existing ranges or construct new facilities including roads, ranges, storage units and/or hunter education classrooms.

Staff received applications from seven ranges for fiscal year 2009 consideration, and all are recommended for funding (see Exhibit A). Criteria for rating applications were revised and approved in August 2007, simplifying the system and accommodating the department's efforts to support all Texas Youth Shooting Sports programs. Smaller range grants will specifically support shotgun and archery range facilities that support school, range and camp-led programs. A total of $278,000 of federal funds are obligated for these projects-many of them start-up projects for range improvements to existing ranges.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the Executive Director to execute contracts funding the projects at Exhibit A, pending availability of funds."

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Target Range Grants - FY09

Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Exhibit A

FY09 Target Range Grant Project Descriptions

1. PROJECT SPONSOR: Hill Country Shooting Sports Center (Kerr County)

PROJECT: Completion of air gun range facilities (Air Hall) to be used for hunter education, air rifle range, archery range and related youth shooting sports activities.

TYPE: Amendment to increase funding for an existing project — Phase III — Indoor Range Improvement Project

DISCUSSION: Hill Country Shooting Sports Center requests additional federal assistance to complete their Air Hall facility at their International USA Shooting and training/meeting facility near Kerrville (Phase III of the project). The Center was initially approved for project construction beginning in FY 06 to enhance their existing, world-class range facility.

In FY06, following an extensive review by both the department and federal review staff (Region II, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Assistance), an Environmental Assessment of the facility was required prior to project approval. In FY07, the assessment and subsequent project approval was made and a contract for $300,000 (Phase I) of federal pass-through funding was signed to begin the development of an Air Hall facility. The facility can be used to support hunter education and archery activities in Kerr County, as well as air gun activities at the international level. Phase II was approved in FY08, adding $120,000 in federal funds to the project.

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of $60,000 (Phase III) in FY 2009 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment). The applicant has the required $20,000 match to receive the grant.

2. PROJECT SPONSOR: Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club (McLennan County)

PROJECT: Continued development of pistol and rifle range and classroom facilities at an existing range.

TYPE: Amendment to increase funding for an existing project — Phase II — Outdoor Range Improvement Project

DISCUSSION: Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club requests additional federal assistance for improvements to their existing rifle, pistol and potential shotgun facilities west of Waco. The Center was initially approved for construction beginning in FY 06 and an inspection and the initial development was completed in FY08, expending $60,000 in federal funds for the project.

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of $30,000 (Phase II) in FY 2009 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment). The applicant has the required $10,000 match to receive the grant.

3. PROJECT SPONSOR: American Shooting Center (Harris County)

PROJECT: Continued development of sporting clays, parking and roads at the existing range.

TYPE: Amendment to increase funding for an existing project — Phase II — Outdoor Range Improvement Project

DISCUSSION: American Shooting Centers requests additional federal assistance for improvements to their sporting clays and road/parking facilities at the Cullen Barker Reservoir /George Bush Park site (Harris County) in West Houston. The world class facility near the largest urban center in Texas has received prior funding of over $500,000 (Two phases — one with Harris County and one with American Shooting Centers, the approved vendor of the facility) in the 1980s and 1990s and is used by hunter education instructors in the greater Houston area.

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of $30,000 (Phase III) in FY 2009 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment). The applicant has the required $10,000 match to receive the grant.

4. PROJECT SPONSOR: Cochran County 4-H Shooting Sports Range (Cochran County)

PROJECT: Continued development of rifle, pistol and shotgun facilities and potentially archery and shotgun range construction at a new county (Texas AgriLIFE Extension) range location (previously in another part of the county).

TYPE: Initial funding and amendment to increase funding for an existing project — Phases I & II — Outdoor Range Improvement Project.

DISCUSSION: Cochran County 4-H Shooting Center requests additional federal assistance for improvements to their 4-H rifle, pistol and shotgun range near Morgan in deep west Texas. The facility is a 4-H Shooting Sports program facility and represents a potential Texas Scholastic Clay Target Program facility — part of the new criteria for small range grants.

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of $38,000 (Partial on Phase I & Phase II) in FY 2009 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment). The applicant has the required $12,666 match to receive the grant.


5. PROJECT SPONSOR: Legacy Gun Club (Williamson County)

PROJECT: To begin development of an indoor rifle, pistol and archery facility to include an indoor hunter education classroom.

TYPE: New range construction project — Phase I — New Indoor Range

DISCUSSION: Legacy Gun Range requests federal assistance for a new facility in the Round Rock/Leander area just north of Austin. The new indoor facility would house rifle and pistol facilities as well as hunter education and archery facilities. This facility represents a high use facility (near urban center) and is needed in an area generally void of quality indoor and outdoor range facilities that serve hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts in Central Texas.

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of $60,000 (Initial Funding) in FY 2009 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment). The applicant has the required $20,000 match to receive the grant.

6. PROJECT SPONSOR: Pine Gun Club (Angelina County)

PROJECT: Development of shotgun range facilities at the existing range site near Lufkin.

TYPE: Range enhancement project — Phase I — Outdoor Range Improvement Project

DISCUSSION: This is an enhancement project to an existing shotgun facility that houses 4-H Shooting Sports and other youth shooting sports groups in East Texas. A pre-inspection was made in FY08. The facility is a 4-H Shooting Sports program facility and represents a potential Texas Scholastic Clay Target Program facility — part of the new criteria for small range grants.

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of $30,000 (Initial Funding) in FY 2009 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment). The applicant has the required $10,000 match to receive the grant.

7. PROJECT SPONSOR: Rose City Flying Clays (Smith County)

PROJECT: Development of rifle and pistol and classroom facilities at the existing range site near Tyler.

TYPE: Range enhancement project — Phase I — Outdoor Range Improvement Project

DISCUSSION: This is an enhancement project to an existing rifle, pistol and shotgun facility that houses 4-H Shooting Sports and other youth shooting sports groups in the Northeast Texas area. The facility is a 4-H Shooting Sports program facility and represents a potential Texas Scholastic Clay Target Program facility — part of the new criteria for small range grants.

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of $30,000 (Initial Funding) in FY 2009 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment). The applicant has the required $10,000 match to receive the grant.


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