Tonopah is considering archery, airgun shooting

Tonopah town officials are considering a proposal for a new archery and airgun range.

The range would be built using a 2022 range grant from the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

Tonopah city manager Joe Westerlund was approached by NDOW in January about the grant’s potential use to expand the government agency’s presence in central Nevada.

“A shooting range would bring a lot of opportunities,” Westerlund said. “We could have local leagues or competitions. People would have a training ground to go to when it’s cold outside.

The NDOW Range Grant is available through the agency’s Hunter Education Program. The grant is being used throughout Nevada to make shooting ranges safer and more accessible to local communities, while creating space for Hunter Education program activities, according to the agency’s website.

The original City Council proposal was for $653,360 and would cover the construction of a 120 x 40 foot range with NDOW offices on site. The quote does not include the price of the necessary property. The grant would cover 90% of the cost, Tonopah corresponding to 10%.

The original proposal was shelved and will be presented at the next meeting with a new cap of $1 million, with Tonopah possibly contributing $100,000. The new budget will allow for a larger building of 200 x 40 feet.

“It will give an outlet for people in the city and will be a positive thing to attract other people to the city,” Westerlund said.

City Council is considering six possible locations for the range which are being considered based on access to utilities. No construction plan has been finalized at this stage.

The timing of the construction project will depend on the grant received. Some Shooting Range Grant projects are given a five-year timeline. Statewide nominees are chosen annually based on hunter education criteria and availability of funds.

The next city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9 at the Tonopah Convention Center.

Earnest A. Martinez