Shooters have been sending rounds down range since October, but the new Cedar Creek Shooting Range was officially dedicated in a ceremony on Monday.
Speaking at the event, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams said, “The shooting sports are safe, high-quality activities for families to enjoy. The Wildlife Resources Division’s program helps cultivate a life-long love of shooting and fosters a sense of conservation for generations to come.”
In Georgia, shooting sports generate more than $478 million dollars in economic impact and more than 1,700 jobs, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
Additional speakers at today’s event included USDA Forest Service’s District Ranger Ben Battle, National Rifle Association’s Southern Regional Director Al Hammond, and National Wild Turkey Federation’s Georgia Chapter State President Greg Brown. Darren Kendall, regional representative for Sen. Saxby Chambliss, read a congratulatory letter from the senator. Dennis Pitts, field representative for Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, also was in attendance.
The range, located at the Cedar Creek Wildlife Management Area in the Oconee National Forest near Eatonton, is one of 17 shooting ranges currently available on public land in Georgia. The range consists of a 10-position, 100-yard rifle/pistol range.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division worked with the U.S. Forest Service to plan its construction.
Support also was provided by the NRA, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited and Putnam County.
The NRA grant totaled $25,000 and was awarded through the NRA Public Range Fund Grant Program. The fund was started in 2009 to address the lack of public shooting ranges nationwide. Through this matching grant program, NRA is working with city and county governments and state and federal agencies to build and improve public shooting ranges across the country.
Since 2009, the program has awarded grants totaling $443,230 to build new public ranges from Georgia to Alaska.
“We are proud of this partnership effort, which provides a quality and affordable facility that reflects the exceptional resources of the Oconee National Forest and the interests of those who recreate here,” said Battle.
The Cedar Creek Shooting Range is located near the intersection of Hwy 212 and Bradley Road and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday year-round (except for Christmas and Thanksgiving Day).
To learn more about the range, visit www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/conf/recarea/?recid=75367.
For information on other public shooting ranges in Georgia, visit www.georgiawildlife.com/hunting/archery-shooting-ranges.
To apply for a grant from the NRA Public Range Fund, visit www.nrahq.org/shootingrange/public_range_grants.asp. An applicant must be a city or county government or state or federal agency that plans to build or improve, or is currently building or improving, a public shooting facility.