FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 5, 2014
Public Input Sought on Draft Environmental Assessment for Delaware Wildlife Area Proposed Shooting Range Facilities in Delaware County, Ohio
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in cooperation with Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife, invites the public to review and comment on a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for proposed relocation of and improvements to the Shooting Range Facilities at Delaware Wildlife Area in Delaware County, Ohio. The draft EA evaluates several alternatives. Public comments will be accepted for a 30-day period, which ends September 3, 2014.
The Service has received a grant application from Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, to approve the relocation of and improvements to a shooting range in Delaware County, Ohio. ODNR owns and operates the current Delaware Wildlife Area shooting range on land that is leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The range is located in Marlboro Township, Delaware County, Ohio. The existing shooting range facilities are subject to frequent flooding due to their proximity to Brondige Run and Delaware Lake. ODNR also operates a separate archery range currently located over 2.0 miles northeast of the shooting range. The Service approved the grant and ODNR received federal dollars (Pittman-Robertson funds) administered by the Service to help reconstruct the existing shooting range into a combined shooting and archery range facility utilizing the existing range and land immediately adjacent to the existing range.
The proposed project will include demolition of the existing shooting range that will require partial excavation of site soils to complete metal recovery. After metal recovery, these excavated soils will be used to help construct backstops for a new facility located immediately east of the existing range and south of SR 229. The reconstructed facility will consist of consolidated shooting and archery range facilities that will be open to the public, including provision of handicapped facilities to ensure compliance with the ADA. Partial elevation of new range facilities will be required to elevate required structures out of the 100-year floodplain surrounding Delaware Lake and Brondige Run and reduce potential impacts from flood events. The soil to raise the structures will be obtained from a borrow area on property owned by the USACE within the Delaware Lake 100-year floodplain to mitigate for the fill at the reconfigured range site.
The purpose of the project is to develop safe and publicly available shooting and archery range facilities within the limits of Delaware Wildlife Area to help promote hunter safety and skills training. There is increasing demand for range facilities throughout Ohio due to increases in firearm sales and shooting range traffic.
Construction of improved and combined shooting and archery range facilities will allow the ODNR to address the above issue and expand their ability to offer more hunter and safety training courses in a centralized location. Construction of updated facilities will better allow the state to meet the rising demand for shooting facilities and increase opportunities for training on proper firearm use and safety education.
The EA was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that applies to the actions of all federal agencies. This project is proposed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife for funding through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The draft EA is available on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service website at: http://www.fws.gov/midwest/news/documents/2014-EA-Proposed-Shooting-Range.pdf (6.6 MB PDF). Additionally, copies may be obtained from the ODNR Division of Wildlife, 2045 Morse Road, G-2, Columbus, Ohio 43229, Jonathan Sorg, Wildlife Federal Aid Coordinator, (614) 265-6720. Written comments should be sent to Jonathan Sorg via mail at the above address, via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or via fax to (614) 263-8144. Comments should be received no later than September 3, 2014.
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