West Mag a shooting area option; Gilpin cuts possible sites

Barbara Lawlor, Boulder County.  In the next month, the Northern Front Range Recreational Sports Shooting Management Partnership will host three open houses regarding identifying possible designated shooting areas in the mountain area.


Included in the first round of possibilities are: Ruby Gulch, off the Peak to Peak Highway north of Nederland; West Magnolia Road, Allenspark Dump, which has completed an analysis and public input and is pending decision; Bunce School Road; and Beaver Reservoir Road.


Each meeting will be presented in open house style with stations set up with information and an opportunity to offer opinions and comments. There will be no formal presentation.


For each potential site, there will be a list of the preliminary criteria used to select the area. A separate station will display maps of other possible designated shooting areas under consideration. This first round of possibilities is just the beginning.


The Boulder County Land Use Department will be on hand to explain the process for amending the Land Use Code to include considerations of the appropriate size of a site, setbacks from neighboring properties, and health and safety protection.


For more information about the Partnership and criteria for identifying possible designated shooting areas, go online at www.SportShootingPartners.org.


The open houses will take place:
Nederland Open House, Monday, July 20, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Nederland Community Center;
Boulder Open House, Tuesday, July 21, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Boulder County Clerk & Recorder’s Office, 1750 33rd St. Boulder;
Allenspark Open House, Thursday, August 6, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Peaceful Valley Resort, 475 Peaceful Valley Road, Lyons.

Gilpin County

Meanwhile, Gilpin County is moving to eliminate potential shooting sites. On Tuesday, July 7, the Gilpin County Commissioners announced that they were removing three sites from their list of possible shooting range sites. These sites are: County Line/State Park, Lake Fork and Columbine Campground.


The County Line/State Park within the Golden Gate Canyon State Park would require an amendment of the park plan. Hunting and shooting is prohibited in the park in Gilpin County, except for a hunting program on the Green Ranch, and the area is too close to Gap Road homes.


The Lake Fork site is a pristine mountain meadow on the Green Ranch, which the State Park purchased in 1995. The only public use is hunting from September to November determined by a lottery. The access road to the meadow was an impediment.


The heavily used Columbine Campground has existing illegal shooting problems and there are conflicts and safety issues with a homeowner to the north. Central City also expressed concerns about the impacts to their water reservoir.


Commissioner Gail Watson says the County is discussing developing a site on Hwy. 119 south of Black Hawk, although there would be earth-moving challenges because of the proximity to North Clear Creek and the cost of building a turning lane on the highway.


She said in the announcement that she feels a quarter-mile separation from a home is inadequate.
“The county will continue working within the partnership to identify an appropriate site.”

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.