KALISPELL – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks proposes to develop a new archery range at the Big Arm Unit at Flathead Lake State Park near Polson and expand the current range to include Lone Pine State in Kalispell.
Both projects aim to leverage grants under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson Act), administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, which aims to increase opportunities for public sport shooting.
FWP is soliciting public opinion on the projects separately, and the deadline for comment is December 10. Details of the project, including how to comment, are available in draft environmental assessments posted online at fwp.mt.gov/news/public-notices. A virtual public information meeting will be organized online for both projects on November 30 at 6 p.m., and login details will be available at fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/regions/region1.
The new archery range would be located on a plot of Big Arm State Park, located on the west side of US Highway 93, directly across from the main entrance to the park. This plot is currently used for scattered hiking. The archery range would include a gravel parking lot, an entrance kiosk with informative and regulatory signage, a prefabricated vault latrine, a 30ft x 15ft covered shooting line, and lockable storage for archery lessons and practice. An archery course with up to 12 shooting stations would also be built in the project area. A firing station would include an elevated firing platform. The shooting stations would be located to ensure safe backgrounds and distances from the park boundaries.
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This public archery range would be a great convenience in Lake County and the Polson area as there is currently no public archery range in this area. The nearest public beach is located 41 miles north of Lone Pine State Park.
At Lone Pine State Park in Kalispell, FWP is proposing to purchase 9.3 acres of property that would add capacity to the park’s existing archery range. The current range offers six firing stations and has seen a significant increase in its use. Self-registration to the Lone Pine range shows a 33% increase in usage over the past few years.
The property in question is located adjacent to the existing archery range and would provide additional target locations. The topography of this undeveloped property would provide safe and diverse target locations, while adding an additional security buffer zone to adjacent private properties.
Lone Pine State Park Archery Range is the only public outdoor archery range developed in the Flathead Valley. It has become increasingly popular as a place to learn and improve archery skills.