KALISPELL — Change is coming to two Montana State Parks bringing upgrades to a fast-growing recreation opportunity.
“These two ranges are going to be great resources for new archers who are trying to learn the sport or seasoned archers who just need a place to go and practice and prepare for the season,” Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) spokesman Dillon Tabish told MTN News.
FWP has approved plans to develop a new archery range at Big Arm State Park near Polson and purchase 9.3 acres of property next to Lone Pine State Park in Kalispell, adding capacity to the current archery range.
“We’re hoping to complete both of these in 2022 so, the goal would be to have both of these up and running by the end of the year,” added Tabish.
Tabish said both projects will utilize grant funding through the Wildlife Restoration Act, aimed at increasing public shooting sports opportunities. He said the existing range at Lone Pine State Park is the only developed, outdoor public archery range in the Flathead Valley.
“It’s just a really popular amenity, it’s one of the only ranges like that in Montana and It’s extremely popular, it’s seen a 30% increase in use the last few years and we’re excited to expand that great resource and offer additional opportunities for public shooting,” added Tabish.
Tabish said the two ranges will be huge in supporting the National Archery In the Schools Program, which provides school-children safe, easy access into the sport. The program is growing rapidly throughout Montana.
“We have over 70 schools enrolled in the program and here in Northwest Montana we’ve been adding a bunch of new schools and we have over 18 schools or programs that are enrolled so, these ranges are going to be great resources for those school programs to be having,” said Tabish.