Maine Range Access Improvement Grant Program

In 2012, MDIFW was awarded a five year U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grant to:

  • Improve public recreational firearm and archery shooting opportunities by providing small grants to range-owning organizations for range enhancement.
  • Accomplish improvements at existing firearm and archery range facilities.
  • Develop new firearm and archery range facilities.
  • Provide facilities accessible by persons with disabilities, where feasible.
  • Integrate safety, accessibility and environmental Best Management Practices into the physical facilities of ranges and the management of ranges.
  • Support firearm and archery education to learn safe and responsible hunting and shooting practices.

The Grant Program provides funding of up to $50,000 to eligible non-profit shooting organizations and certain government units and agencies for non-commercial firearm and archery range enhancement.

Applicants must provide at least 30 percent of project costs, which may include cash or in-kind contributions of labor, services or materials. Grant requirements include providing public access to the range facility and use of BMPs. There is a competitive evaluation of grant applications and an effort to provide a state-wide distribution of awards.

In 2015, a total of $225,000 was awarded to 7 different shooting range projects across the state. Construction is currently underway at several of these ranges, and all work will be completed by late 2016.

Range Improvement Grant Applications are not being accepted at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions About Maine's Shooting Range Grant Program

Q. Could you explain what you mean by public access?
A. Public access might include sight-in days, special events, competitions, or open range time. Public access may be to club facilities other than grant funded improvements. Facilities do not need to be open to the public at all times to be considered for funding, however projects that increase the amount of public access to shooting facilities will be ranked higher in the scoring process.

Q. For in-kind Match contributions, can I count the time spent preparing the grant application?
A. Time preparing the grant application would not be eligible for an in-kind contribution. Only eligible expenses or donated hours that are incurred after the project has been approved by MDIFW can be counted as Match.

Q. Under the estimated cost, should I include the cost of land clearing, which is being donated to us?
A. Yes, the cost of land clearing (e.g. the removal of trees, brush and stumps) should be included in your estimated cost, and yes, include it as an in-kind contribution if applicable.

Q. Please elaborate on the requirement that clubs have to be able to pay for the project costs in full as costs are incurred.
A. This provision does not mean that the club must have funds in hand for the entire project. As the club contracts with a vendor for services, it is the club's responsibility for the expense of such services. In the past, some clubs have entered into a line of credit with a bank, credit union or the vendor, for this responsibility. It is expected that clubs will receive progress invoices from vendors at the completion of specific elements of the project. The club is responsible for paying those vendor progress invoices and then seek reimbursement from the Department.

Q. Can you provide guidance on which structures require a Maine registered Architect or Engineer?
A. State and local regulatory agencies generally define what types of structures require certification by a design professional. Also, State licensing laws dictate what constitutes the practice of architecture or engineering. If your project falls within the applicable guidelines, a sealed drawing will be required prior to the start of construction.

Q. Can I submit my application electronically?
A. As noted in the RFP, electronic submissions of the application won't be accepted. Once you complete the form, copies should be made and delivered as noted in the application packet.

Q. Can we include routine activities (such as winter plowing) as in-kind match for our application?
A. Winter plowing would be an operations and maintenance activity and is not an eligible activity for in-kind contribution match. To be eligible as in-kind contribution, the activity needs to be necessary for the initial construction/ installation activity. The applicant is responsible for maintenance.

Q. Is there a deadline for completing the project?
A. Projects must be completed by November 30, 2017, unless other arrangements are made between the successful applicant and MDIFW.

Q. What types of projects have received awards in the past?
A. Approved projects have been very diverse in their scope, ranging from improvements to ADA accessibility, construction of berms to improve safety, installation of barriers to reduce noise, improvements to range infrastructure such as access roads, development of range management plans, and implementation of lead abatement measures. The RFP document lists the types of project that are eligible for funding.