RALEIGH, N.C. - The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently accepted a $25,000 check from the National Rifle Association of America to help fund the construction of a public shooting range in Cleveland County.
Brian Hyder, director of the NRA's General Operations, Program Development Education and Training division, presented the check to Gordon Myers, the Commission's executive director, at the Commission's headquarters on Centennial Campus in Raleigh.
The state-of-the-art shooting range will be available to the general public, shooting sports teams and law enforcement personnel for practice, training and recreational use for pistol, skeet and trap, rifle and archery. It will feature a 200-yard rifle range, five 50-yard pistol ranges, two skeet and trap shotgun ranges and a 3-D archery course. The Commission will begin construction in late summer.
"The Wildlife Commission is grateful to have the National Rifle Association as a partner to help us increase shooting range opportunities in North Carolina," Myers said. "Through this partnership, the WRC is working hand in hand with the NRA to develop and enhance public shooting facilities across our state."
The $25,000 donation was a grant from the NRA's Public Range Fund, which was established in 2009 to provide funding for the construction of public ranges across the country.
The need for public shooting ranges nationally is huge, according to Hyder, so the program focuses on creating partnerships at the city, county, state and federal level, with a special emphasis on wildlife agencies in all 50 states. Since the start of the program, the NRA has given more than $1 million to fund public shooting ranges from Florida to Alaska.
"Public shooting ranges are critically important to hunter recruitment and retention - providing ranges is important in hunter education, training and especially recruiting of young hunters and shooters," Hyder said. "The NRA is proud to be able to work with the Wildlife Resources Commission in its desire to expand recreational shooting opportunities for the citizens of North Carolina statewide."
The Wildlife Commission and the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners signed a memorandum of agreement in November to build and maintain the public shooting range, which will be located at 250 Fielding Road, outside of Shelby. The Wildlife Commission will build the range site and perform all grading work as well as construction of berms, roads and parking lots. Cleveland County is providing the property and will build a training facility and a separate building with restrooms and concessions. The county also will handle all routine maintenance and will be responsible for day-to-day operations.
For more information on public and private shooting ranges in North Carolina, visit the Commission's website, www.ncwildlife.org/hunting. Click on the "Before the Hunt" link.
About the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state's fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. To learn more, visit www.ncwildlife.org.
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