Hey, for the archery-deficient, here's one to add to the list of ample recreation opportunities around Flathead Lake. Potentially.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tells us that they are proposing to develop a new archery range at the Big Arm Unit of the Flathead Lake State Park system near Polson and expand the current range at Lone Pine State Park in Kalispell.

Both projects aim to take advantage of grant funding aimed at increasing public shooting sport opportunities. But first:

FWP is seeking public input on the projects separately, and the deadline to comment is Dec. 10, 2021. Project details, including how to comment, are available in draft environmental assessments published here. A virtual public information meeting will be hosted online for both projects on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m., and login information will be available here.

The proposal sounds like Montana FWP wants it to be an inviting, user-friendly facility. The new archery range would be located on a parcel of Big Arm State Park, located on the west side of US Highway 93, directly across from the park’s main entrance. This parcel is currently utilized for dispersed hiking. The archery range would include a gravel parking lot, an entry kiosk with informational and regulatory signage, a porta-potty, a 30’ x 15’ covered firing line and lockable storage for archer lessons and practice.

An archery range trail with up to 12 shooting stations would also be developed within the project area. One shooting station would include an elevated shooting platform. Shooting stations would be located to ensure safe backdrops and distances from park boundaries. There are currently no public archery ranges in the Polson area, with the nearest public range located 41 miles north at Lone Pine State Park.

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