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Shooting range opening ceremonies are planned

by Merrie Leininger

Thursday’s opening ceremonies of the Douglas County Shooting Range will end a long period of waiting and working for the range by many residents.

Lt. Al Baumruck said the transfer station took over the land the old shooting range was on 10 years ago.

“Once upon a time, there was a 300-yard rifle range where the transfer station is. They got it with the understanding they would help with a new one when the time came to build – and they did – we couldn’t have done it without them,” Baumruck said.

In June 1997, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office asked for the land from Parks and Recreation Department and Baumruck was assigned to oversee the construction. The new range is also near the transfer station on Pine Nut Road.

A Pitman-Robinson Grant helped pay for $45,000 of the about $60,000 total cost. The county, with funds, labor and equipment, paid for the rest, Baumruck said.

“Last April is when the Navy SeaBees came in and did a lot of the heavy work and then we got the grant and it started coming together,” he said. “When we have the opening ceremonies, it will be one of those milestones in my life.”

He said many organizations and individuals donated materials and time to the range.

“We had a lot of public support. One of the youth organizations that should get special recognition is the Douglas County 4-H Sharpshooters. They did a lot of clean-up and really worked hard. A lot of people came out and just did shovel and spade work.”

Other businesses that donated significant amounts of time, equipment and effort are: Gregg Lynn Construction, Bing Materials, Neil Hill of A Sign Shop, Crockett Enterprises Construction, Knox Excavating, Civil Engineer Kenneth H. Olson, U.S. Naval Air Station in Fallon, Bob Nunes of Douglas County Community Development and Brett Reed of Douglas County Road Department.

Baumruck said the opening ceremonies, which will start at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, will include a “Top Gun” competition among the county commissioners, in which the commissioner who shoots out two balloons will win.

The range will be open to the public during the same hours as the transfer station. It is closed Monday and open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. other days. Baumruck said he will work on getting volunteers to man the range for extended hours in the summer.

The 300-yard range has berms at 50, 100, 200, and 300 yards for rifle shooting and a 50-yard pistol range. The shooting areas are concrete and are covered with a metal roof.

The range is governed by existing Parks and Recreation rules and users will have to sign a copy of the rules when they pay their $2 per car to use the range.

For more information, call Baumruck at 782-9944.