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State plans massive, $11 million public shooting complex

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The attached audio is from SDPB's daily public-affairs show, In the Moment.

South Dakota's Game, Fish, and Parks Department wants to build a 400-acre shooting complex north of Rapid City that could host around 180 shooters at a time for free public use.

A state official says the complex could also bring an economic boost and national competitions to the area.

John Kanta is the GF&P's regional terrestrial resource supervisor. He says the facility would rival anything in the nation.

"This is going to be the finest and largest outdoor shooting range that we've ever constructed in South Dakota."

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The South Dakota Parks & Wildlife Foundation owns the land and is willing to sell it to the state.

The estimated cost of the shooting range is $11 million.

"There is some possibility that we could go to the Legislature and ask for general funds — I'm not certain of that right now," Kanta said. "The current plan is $2.5 million from GF&P, and the rest from private donors."

The design includes a south-end range intended for the general public. The north range is designed for more experienced shooters. North-range shooters will use "action bays" for practicing tactical shooting.

The design also includes a separate space for law enforcement to conduct training and qualifying activities.

The GF&P hopes to break ground in spring 2022 and complete the project by fall 2022.

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Joshua is the business and economics reporter with SDPB News.