Presenter: Steve Hall

Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Action
Target Range Grant Funding
August 27, 2009

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 1) availability of funds, 2) biological and cultural clearances and 3) a review by a National Rifle Association range technical team advisor. This last criterion is a newly established procedure beginning this next fiscal year.

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" (Project W122S) 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/letters from three existing ranges for fiscal year 2010 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 shooting sports programs in schools. Smaller range grants will specifically support shotgun and archery range facilities that support school, range and camp-led programs. Procedures also have been enhanced to ensure that the National Rifle Association (NRA) Range Construction Standards (Reference: NRA Range Technical Team and Range Source Book) also are reviewed prior to the signing of a target range agreement rather than during the term of the project.

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 and pending cultural, biological and range reviews."

Attachments - 1

  1. Exhibit A - Target Range Grants - FY10

Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Exhibit A

FY10 Target Range Grant Project Descriptions

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

PROJECT: Completion of the final phase of construction of the air hall (indoor) and/or outdoor range facilities including, but not limited to, parking, classroom and storage facilities.

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

DISCUSSION: Hill Country Shooting Sports Center requests additional federal assistance to complete parking and storage for their Air Hall facility and to improve existing outdoor ranges open to the public to shoot rifle, shotgun and/or handgun at this International USA Shooting and training/meeting facility near Kerrville (Phase IV — Final Phase of the project). The Center was initially approved for project construction beginning in FY 06, and it has successfully completed the first three phases of the project.

Total Federal/State Funding Provided by TPWD (75% of Project Costs)

TOTAL — $540,000 (Final Year in the Five-Year Project)

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding up to $60,000 (Phase IV) in FY 2010 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment — Project W122S). 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 enhancement/construction of outdoor range facilities including rifle and pistol ranges, classrooms, parking, restrooms and storage.

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

DISCUSSION: Central Texas Rifle and Pistol Club requests additional federal assistance for improvements to their existing rifle and pistol facilities near China Springs, west of Waco. The Center was initially approved for a five-year construction project beginning in FY 06. An inspection and the initial development was completed in FY08, expending $60,000 in federal funds. In FY09 the range received an additional $30,000 to continue construction of a new 100-yard range that would facilitate the sighting-in of larger caliber rifles and handguns, and international competitions.

Funding in this third phase will be used to implement recommendations by a certified range technical team advisor with the National Rifle Association including enhancements to berms, baffles and any other safety features on new or existing ranges at the facility.

Total Federal/State Funding Provided by TPWD (75% of Project Costs)

TOTAL — $180,000 (Third Year in the Five-Year Project)

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of up to $90,000 (Phase III) in FY 2010 for this project pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment — Project W122S) and pending a range review, enhanced documentation and recommendations made by a National Rifle Association range technical team advisor. The applicant has the required $30,000 match to receive the grant.

3. PROJECT SPONSOR: Bexar Community Shooting Range (Guadalupe County)

PROJECT: Continued enhancement/construction of outdoor range facilities including rifle and pistol ranges, shotgun ranges, classrooms, parking, restrooms and storage.

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

DISCUSSION: Bexar Community Shooting Range requests additional federal assistance for improvements to their shotgun facility (trap house is deteriorating) and rifle range (installation of baffles). The range is a long-time TPWD project and has used its facilities for the Guadalupe County 4-H Shooting Sports Club and for hunter education in the greater San Antonio and Seguin areas.

RECOMMENDATION: Approve federal funding of up to $90,000 (Phase II) in FY 2010 for this project, pending availability of federal Wildlife Restoration funds (Hunter Safety Apportionment — Project W122S) and pending cultural, biological and range reviews. The applicant has the required $30,000 match to receive the grant.


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