BLM receives grant for firing facility improvements; work to be completed Aug. 22

A line of target shooters take aim at random bullseyes in the desert at the Bureau of Land Management’s rifle range along 27 1/4 Road.



Work will begin Tuesday on a $20,000 improvement project at the 27 1/4 Road Shooting Range north of Grand Junction.

Mesa County and the Bureau of Land Management recently received a $20,000 grant from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Shooting Range Development Grant Program to spruce up the range.

BLM Public Affairs Specialist Chris Joyner said project work will include resurfacing and fencing the range’s parking lot to make it more identifiable and easier to drive on, resurfacing a shade shelter roof that has had holes shot through it, and improving berms on the sides of the range to better keep rounds from leaving the range area.

Some general cleaning will be done as well. Joyner said volunteers temporarily shut down the range about once every five weeks to fill dumpsters with left-behind trash, cover graffiti and clean up damage done by careless shooters, who Joyner said are the minority at the range.

“It’s just that one or two percent that does stuff like that that causes problems for everybody else,” Joyner said.

Joyner said he hopes public awareness of the issue and the improved look of the range when work is completed Aug. 22 will deter people from vandalism and littering at the range.

Periodic closures throughout the project period are possible, particularly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Closure information is available at http://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gjfo.html or 244-3000.

Joyner said spring would be a less-busy time to close the range during improvement work, but the BLM wanted to use the grant money as soon as possible. He said summertime will be less busy than trying to wait until late summer/early fall, when both recreational shooters and people practicing for hunting season will be using the range. More than 34,000 shooters used the range during all of 2012.

“Anyone that goes up there knows there are some things that need to be improved upon but this is a very relevant range for our community,” he said. “It’s going to be inconvenient but we do think the end product will make the wait worth it.”


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