Presenter: Steve Hall

Commission Agenda Item No. 6
Approval of Target Range Grant Funding
August 23, 2007

I. Executive Summary: The department provides grants to qualifying third-party applicants for the development of target range and hunter education facilities. Applications are reviewed annually, and grant projects are approved for construction, pending availability of funds. The criteria used to rate applications have been revised primarily to accommodate a new shotgun sports program in the high schools.

II. Discussion: With support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Federal Assistance, the department administers a target range grant program. Funds are available to qualifying applicants from both private and public sectors that provide public use of their facilities and open them to hunter education. Applicants provide twenty-five percent (25%) of the total project cost; with federal grant funds made available through the state's "hunter safety apportionment," providing the balance or seventy-five percent (75%). The "Target Range Agreement" is the long-term contract that allows a successful applicant to enhance existing ranges or construct new facilities including roads, ranges, storage units and/or hunter education classrooms.

Criteria for rating applications have been revised to simplify the system and to accommodate the department's new "Texas Youth Clays Program," an initiative that will be piloted in high schools beginning this fall. Proposed trap range facilities that host the new program will be eligible for $30,000 grants pending approval in accordance with federal and state regulations required of the other grant applicants. The new criteria are listed at Exhibit D. Fiscal impacts are listed at Exhibit E.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission authorizes the Executive Director to execute contracts funding the projects at Exhibits A through C, pending availability of funds, and to approve the new criteria for rating grant applications at Exhibit D."

Please contact Steve Hall for information about Exhibits