Basalt Shooting Range Changes and Construction Closures
Work by the Colorado Division of Wildlife (DOW) to improve the shooting range at the Basalt State Wildlife Area will continue throughout the month of May. The range will be closed on weekdays until 6 p.m. Range users can still shoot during evening hours or on weekends.
“We decided to push and get the remaining range construction work done during the month of May instead of stretching the work out over the entire summer,” said Perry Will, DOW area wildlife manager. “While there will be a short inconvenience to users, we believe the long term benefits of the improvements will outweigh any inconvenience.”
In an effort to address concerns from nearby residents, the Colorado Wildlife Commission last week approved changes to the operations of the Basalt State Wildlife Area shooting range. The new regulations will take effect July 1.
Beginning July 1, range hours will be weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fully automatic weapons will be prohibited. Firearms over .50 caliber will also be prohibited with exceptions for shotguns and muzzleloaders.
“While the range was around long before the surrounding homes were built, we recognize that new residential areas around the range may be impacted by its use,” explained Ron Velarde, DOW northwest regional manager. “We have worked with the Town of Basalt and Basalt Police to address concerns through new hours and firearms restrictions. At the same time, the DOW is committed to providing a convenient, safe and clean shooting range for the benefit of sportsmen and sportswomen in the Roaring Fork Valley.”
Wildlife Commission members reiterated their support of providing safe shooting ranges to the hunting public in Colorado. Several Commissioners reminded DOW staff of the large number of shooting ranges that have been closed because of development in the Denver metro area. The lack of affordable and convenient organized shooting ranges has led to dispersed target shooting on public lands. In some cases, dispersed shooting areas have presented federal lands managers with safety and littering concerns and lead to federal considerations of shooting closures on some public lands around Denver.