The Department of Natural Resources has officially kicked off the process for finding a location to potentially build a world-class shooting range and clubhouse to be used by state high school trapshooters and to attract other statewide, regional, national or international events.
Larina Vosika DeWalt, a spokeswoman for the firm hired by the DNR to assist on the roundup and evaluation of potential sites, said the agency has begun to actively seek owners of large land parcels. The project team will consider sites from a few hundred acres to more than 1,000.
“We’re starting to gauge where the land is,” DeWalt said. “We are trying to drum up interest.’’
The Legislature authorized the DNR to identify possible sites and study the feasibility of a large shooting range.
Alexandria has been the home of the increasingly popular championship tournaments hosted by the Minnesota State High School Clay Target League, but the events have begun to outgrow the facility and there’s interest to build a bigger shooting range and clubhouse.
When the idea of a massive new shooting range first emerged a couple of years ago, “people came out of the woodwork’’ with possible sites, DeWalt said.
Since being tabled, the project is restarting with the goal of producing a feasibility and site identification report by March 1.
“The more ideas the better,’’ said DeWalt, a representative of KLJ Engineering and Planning Services.
She welcomes inquiries from private landowners and municipal authorities at KLJ’s office in St. Paul. Preferably, the range would be built somewhere in the metro area, she said.
“To accommodate new participants and teams, the sport requires a new facility that can provide greater accessibility and accommodations,’’ DeWalt said in a news release.