News Release – September 26, 2023
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR) is seeking public comment on a Draft Update to the Final Environmental Assessment regarding the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks’ (SDGFP) proposed changes to the construction of the South Dakota Shooting Sports Complex, formerly known as the Rapid City Shooting Range Complex. Funding for the project administered by the WSFR Program constitutes a Federal action subject to the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, as amended.
The Service has received notice from SDGFP proposing changes to construction at the South and North End Ranges of the Complex to address the new shooting range ordinance in Meade County that took effect after the posting of Final EA and Finding of No Significant Impact. The proposed changes will occur in two areas of the Complex, the South End Range and the North End Range.
The initial design for the South End Range consisted of five 50-yard bays, five 100-yard bays, one 200/300-yard shooting area, and an area for ten stationary shotgun clay targets. Overall, the proposed changes to the South End Range will remove one 100-yard bay (as the bay will be too close to a relocated section line), replace the stationary shotgun clay target area with two Olympic bunker trap areas that can be converted to a three skeet/five stand clay target area, and alter the angle of ten shooting bays two degrees to the north to accommodate the Meade County shooting range ordinance. The proposed changes are further described in the document’s Project Summary (Section 1.4) and detailed in Figure 6.
The initial design for the North End Range consisted of eleven 50-yard bays, three 75-yard bays, three 100-yard bays, one 300-yard versatile raining bay, and twelve–shooting-locations sporting clays course. Overall, the proposed changes to the North End Range will remove the sporting clays course and relocate four of seventeen shooting bays to the south of the entrance road to alter the angle of the other thirteen shooting bays to accommodate the Meade County shooting range ordinance. The proposed changes are further described in the Project Summary (Section 1.4) and detailed in Figure 7.
These proposed changes to the initial designs of the South End and North End Ranges are being made to accommodate the Meade County shooting range ordinance so the project can continue to provide a safe and managed facility for the public to participate in shooting sports activities in an area where such opportunities are limited.
The Draft Update to the Final EA prepared by the Service and SDGFP analyzes the environmental effects of the proposed changes to the shooting range construction and operation and provides another opportunity for all interested stakeholders to review and comment on the proposed changes. In the previous Final EA, dated July 1, 2022, the Service concluded that the proposed project would not have impacts to wetlands, floodplains, or farmland, would not affect historical and cultural resources, would not have any effect on threatened, endangered or candidate species, and would have minimal effect on the vegetation in the area or on the local fish and wildlife, and their habitats.
Public comments will be accepted for a 30-day period which ends October 26, 2023. Copies of the Draft Update to the Final EA and Appendices, which include details of the proposed action and the alternatives considered, are available online by clicking on the title of the document at https://www.fws.gov/project/south-dakota-shooting-sports-complex-project. Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Services’ Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program at 303-236-8165. Comments will be accepted until noon on Thursday, October 26, 2023, and should be sent to: Adriana Araya, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Attn: Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO, 80225.
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