‘Game on’: Local leaders attend legislative meeting, promote FreCo as ‘best location’ for state shooting complex

    The Wyoming Legislature’s State Shooting Complex Oversight Task Force met in Casper last week to start developing a request for proposals from entities interested in hosting the planned facility.

    The Fremont County Association of Governments is one of those entities, according to a letter FCAG administrator Gary Michaud read during the meeting.

    “(We are) writing to confirm the county’s intent to present a future site proposal for the State of Wyoming shooting complex,” Michaud read. “FCAG asserts Fremont County as the best location for a centrally located shooting complex, therefore the members of FCAG are uniting to form a site development committee and will submit a group application for consideration.”


    Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith joined Michaud in presenting the letter to the committing, emphasizing his town’s reputation as the “crossroads of Wyoming.”

    “Look at the map,” he said. “Shoshoni (is) right in the middle.”

    Committee co-chair Wyoming Sen. Larry Hicks, R-Baggs, thanked Highsmith and Michaud for attending the meeting, noting that “there’s a lot of interest around the state … so game on, gentlemen.”

    ‘Stay engaged’

    Hicks encouraged FCAG to “stay engaged in the process,” and Highsmith said “we intend to.”


    “I’ve got Pepper on speed dial,” he joked, referring to Wyoming Rep. Pepper Ottman, R-Riverton, who sits on the task force.

    I’m excited about this,” Ottman said at the beginning of the meeting. “I’m hoping that this (task force) will be the nexus to bring everything together so that we can be a world-class facility but also bring a lot of competition and a lot of business and industry into our state.”

    Maven Outdoor Equipment Company co-owner Cade Maestas is also on the task force, and he said he is “grateful for the opportunity.”


    “We have a chance to put something together (that’s) uniquely Wyoming to make this an attraction across the country,” he said. “We have an opportunity to take the best of what’s out there and shape that to what works best for our community, our state.”

    During the meeting, the task force talked about the different kinds of shooting sports that could be offered at the facility and the events and competitions those could draw.

    They also discussed layout options for the site, space for educational opportunities, various governance and management structures, and the benefits of ensuring other amenities like hotels and restaurants are available nearby.


    Ottman pointed out that some people who travel to the facility will be looking to camp, suggesting that proximity to a state park might be a factor to consider.

    She also asked whether the shooting complex would be “self-supporting,” prompting a conversation about options for facility management, including the potential to create a nonprofit organization or a joint powers board to oversee operations.

    Another topic Ottman brought up was the possibility of providing longer-range shooting opportunities at Wyoming’s facility.

    Most shooting facilities offer 200- to 600-yard ranges, Ottman said, suggesting Wyoming consider including a 2,000-yard range at its complex to “make it different than a lot of the other ones.”

    She noted that the task force should also think about “how big of a facility we may need to have under-roof,” considering that options for outdoor activities may be limited in the winter months in Wyoming.

    In order to answer that question, she recommended reaching out to shooting sports organizations for more information about their events schedules, and contacting law enforcement agencies to learn more about their training needs.

    The task force will also solicit feedback from the public about the shooting sports they would like to see at a state facility, Hicks said.

    The Wyoming Legislature created the State Shooting Complex Task Force this year to “develop a framework for the selection of a location for the” future facility.

    The task force will “review other shooting facilities in the region and develop preliminary specifications, plans and features for the Wyoming state shooting complex,” the legislation states; they will also “develop a request for proposals so that local governments, private sector entities, or a combination of both may submit proposals to be considered for the location.”

    The next task force meeting is scheduled to take place Sept. 27 in Riverton.


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