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Arvada site appears to be favorite for shooting range

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Jeffco-owned facility proposed

By Ramsey Scott

A site in Arvada appears to be the leading contender for a county-owned public shooting range.

A working group organized by Jeffco Parks and Open Space has narrowed the search to five locations, including the site in Arvada, which is currently leased by Pioneer Sand and Gravel as a quarry.

Tom Hoby, director of Parks and Open Space, said the working group tried to find property that was within a 30-minute drive of a major county intersection. 

The group also used criteria for outdoor ranges created by the Sports Shooting Management Partnership. Potential sites had to be at least a half-mile from residential areas, a quarter-mile from communication towers, and have a slope of less than 20 percent. A location also had to be in an area where a range wouldn’t create a substantial impact on wildlife and natural resources. 

Each location posed challenges, Hoby said during a briefing on the group’s findings on July 22. But the Arvada site, which is coming to the end of its life as a quarry, had the best potential of the five identified. 

“We’ve had those discussions with Arvada, and their indication so far is they’re willing to explore this with us,” Hoby said. “They actually came to us and said this might be a good location.”

The commissioners requested more information, including what the potential cost would be for locating the range at the Arvada site. The goal is for the range to be self-sustaining through fees. 

The other locations identified as having potential: Open Space land north of Golden on Colorado 93; the southern part of Hildebrand Ranch Open Space Park; Coal Creek Canyon Park; and expanding the county’s current law enforcement shooting range at Rooney Valley to include public lanes.  

Along with locating a potential site, the group made recommendations on what a shooting range should include. Since the only outdoor public shooting range in the metro area is the Family Shooting Center at Cherry Creek State Park, the group said Jeffco should pursue an outdoor range. 

The group recommended 10 to 15 lanes for pistol shooting and another 10 to 15 stations for rifle shooting, which would require 2 to 3 acres. The group also listed a range for archery and for trap and skeet shooting as “nice to have” but not a necessity. 

 

Contact Ramsey Scott at ramsey@evergreenco.com or 303-933-2233, ext. 22, and follow him on Twitter @RamseyColumbine. Check www.columbinecourier.com for updates.