Mesa County Shooting Range Receives Grant
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo. Improvement work is slated to begin on July 23 at the popular 27 1/4 Shooting Range north of Grand Junction. The Bureau of Land Management and Mesa County received a $20,000 grant for the improvements.
Officials say this is the only developed public shooting range for the BLM Grand Junction Field Office.
Residents like Bud Black use the range often, "I was in the Oklahoma 45th Infantry Division and went through basic training. Scored excellent on my rifle range shooting in basic training. Served my time got my honorable discharge and I don't do nothing now but hunt, fish and shoot."
Chris Pipkin, outdoor recreation planner for the BLM, said, "We've heard over and over again that this is a very important resource for shooters."
It has been utilized for decades. Just last year more than 34,000 shooters visited the range last year. Now the BLM can finally put money towards making improvements it desperately needs.
"We're going to be doing some berm work on the targets down range. We're going to be installing some chronograph pads. repairing some of the roof over the shade shelter," said Pipkin.
"We need to keep it beautiful and nice as a park," said Black.
Unfortunately maintaining the range isn't always easy, "It's gone through various stages of neglect over years," said Pipkin.
"They come out and abuse it," Black said.
The work of volunteers helps keep it running. Pipkin said, "Come out and pick up trash from less responsible shooters. They talk to the folks that are out here, try to educate them about range safety."
Black hopes to join the ranks of volunteers, "Bring my rake and my scoop shovel and help them clean this place up."
The BLM hopes after improvements, folks will take more pride in maintaining and respecting the beloved range.
Beginning July 23 and continuing through Aug. 22, the shooting range may be closed to accommodate work crews. Closures will typically occur during the day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Officials hope to keep it open on weekends.