The nonprofit Summit Range Association on Tuesday, Jan. 14, took the latest in a series of steps toward oversight of the Summit County Public Shooting Range when the Board of County Commissioners approved an agreement conveying daily operational responsibilities to the group.
The Range Association, which was established to address growing trash and safety concerns at the shooting range, has enjoyed a number of milestones in its little more than two years of existence, said board president Brian Denison.
In addition to formally organizing as a Colorado nonprofit in November 2012, a team of five board members and countless volunteers have cleaned up and improved the range by constructing shooting benches and target stands, drafting safety rules and regulations — which were adopted by the county last year — and successfully acquiring two grants in 2013 — one from the Friends of the NRA and one from Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
The CPW grant, totaling $100,000, is scheduled for allocation this year and the Summit Range Association has plans to install men’s and women’s vaulted toilets and to pour concrete under the range’s shooting benches to make it easier to clean spent brass.
The Range Association also features a National Rifle Association-certified chief range safety officer and a teamm of other safety officers to promote safe gun-handling practices.
‘seriously rockin’ it’
Thad Noll, assistant Summit County manager, said it didn’t take a lot of convincing to get the county commissioners to back the agreement in light of all of the Range Association’s accomplishments in a short period of time.
“We’re thrilled we were able to find this group that was willing to take on this project and manage the shooting range in a way that benefits the county and local shooters,” Noll said. “This is another great example of users taking responsibility of an amenity they enjoy, making it better for everyone and they’re seriously rockin’ it.”
Denison and his band of hunters and target shooters are excited about the new responsibility of maintaining the range as a fee-free amenity not only for the county’s residents, but also for its visitors.
Last year, board members hosted three groups of first-time shooters at the range; one was a group of women who were in town from Oklahoma, Denison said.
In addition to those rare out-of-state visitors, Denison said at least half of the shooters at the range come from Denver and the Front Range, where indoor shooting ranges can be expensive.
“As a group we think it’s terrific and we’re excited about the agreement with the county because it formalizes what we have been doing up to this point,” he said. “We get a tremendous amount of support from the entire county and we’re excited to expand our events and introduce shooting to even more first-timers in the future.”
The shooting range is located at 639 County Road 66, above the Summit County Landfill, in Dillon. The shooting range is free to the public. Donations are accepted on-site and online at www.summitrange.org.