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Shooting range, boat ramp are coming

Posted: September 22, 2012 - 2:50pm

A large and multi-purpose shooting range at Jacksonville and a boat launching ramp in downtown Little Rock are in the works.

The city of Jacksonville and the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation will build a major shooting range that will be open to the public and also be used extensively by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

The range will be on Jacksonville’s east side close to Holland Bottoms Wildlife Management Area, an AGFC facility.

The Game and Fish Commission approved a memorandum of understanding Thursday with the city of Jacksonville for use of the range.

The Game and Fish Commission asked for a commitment at the range for seven yearly events of its Arkansas Youth Shooting Sports Program, a rapidly growing activity that involves trapshooting for students in many schools around the state. Other AGFC events may be held at the range, and the memorandum of understanding is for a 25-year period.

The range will be constructed within 18 months, according to the agreement.

A commitment to a public boat ramp and parking area on the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock was made Thursday by the Game and Fish Commission.

At their monthly meeting in Little Rock, the agency’s commissioners approved spending up to $411,000 for the project, which was requested by John Burkhalter, who is developing Rock City Yacht Club near the Clinton Presidential Center.

The money commitment was divided, with $300,000 to come from AGFC’s 2013 fiscal year funds and $111,000 from fiscal year 2014 funds. The ramp and parking area will be on Little Rock city park land.

Plans for the project include a launching ramp of concrete reinforced with steel. The parking area will be of concrete seven inches thick and reinforced with steel mats. On both sides of the ramp, the existing river bank will be stabilized with steel sheet piling driven into the river bed.

Money for the project will come from Marine Fuel Tax funds, which is state taxes paid on fuel used by boats.

In another matter, a bit of history was donated by AGFC to the city of Danville.

It is an unused bridge on the agency’s Petit Jean WMA. Called a bowstring bridge, it is on the National Historic Registry. It was built in 1880 and went out of use when Yell County rerouted a road across the Petit Jean River. The bride will be used on a recreational trail in Danville.

The cost of hunting ducks in Arkansas is going up for non-residents.

They will now pay $35 for a migratory waterfowl hunting stamp, commonly called duck stamp, up from the former price of $20.

Non-residents will pay $25 for a Wildlife Management Area Waterfowl Hunting Stamp, up from the former price of $10. This is required in addition to non-resident hunting licenses.

The money received from these increases will be earmarked for waterfowl habitat work on wildlife management areas.

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