Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station

South Dakota House Committee sets back proposed G.F. & P. shooting range in Meade County

PIERRE, S.D. — A legislative committee on Tuesday put a major kink in the plan for a large shooting range being proposed by the Game, Fish and Parks in Meade County.

The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee rejected HB 1049, which sought $2.5 million from the state general fund to build it. The vote was 8-5.

Among those speaking for the project were the National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Izaak Walton League and Elevate Rapid City.

Ranchers whose properties are next to, or nearby, the proposed site spoke against it, as did a South Dakota Stockgrowers lobbyist.

RELATED: STOCKGROWERS OPPOSE SHOOTING RANGE

Representative Rocky Blare, R-Ideal, said he originally supported the project but saw Tuesday that the landowners’ concerns hadn’t been addressed.

“I love what it does, but it’s not ready for prime time until you get these landowners involved,” Blare said. “I will support it when you get the adjoining landowners on board.”

Representative Caleb Finck, R-Tripp, called it “a fantastic project” that still has some important issues unresolved, such as what happens to three miles of gravel road, and the still-unclear sources of funds to operate the site after it’s built.

The proposed $10-$12-milion dollar project is being proposed north of Rapid City along Elk Vale Road.

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