‘We need to show up in force’: Shoshoni mayor calls for community support at upcoming shooting complex meeting

    The Wyoming Legislature’s State Shooting Complex Oversight Task Force will meet at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27, in Room 125 of the Intertribal Education and Community Center at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.

    Shoshoni Mayor Joel Highsmith encouraged local residents to attend the meeting to express support for Fremont County as a potential location for the proposed shooting facility.

    “We need to show up in force,” he said during a Shoshoni Town Council meeting this week. “This is something that would be very beneficial, economically beneficial, for the whole county.”


    Lander Mayor Monte Richardson said state staffers estimate the complex could generate about $8 million in revenue for Fremont County annually.

    “(It’s) all about economic development, and it’ll bring in a lot of jobs,” Richardson told the Lander City Council this week. “It would be a good asset for Fremont County to bring something like that in.”

    The Fremont County Association of Governments plans to request a total of $15,000 in combined half percent economic development sales tax funds from the county and its municipalities to support the effort, Richardson added.

    Highsmith said FCAG would contribute $4,500 from its own budget.


    The Shoshoni Town Council approved their $2,500 contribution this week, though Councilmember Mike Dimick voted against the move, asking, “How is it going to benefit Shoshoni?”

    Highsmith replied that, if the complex is constructed near Shoshoni, it might result in new home construction and attract more businesses and lodging options to the town.

    “It could be good for business in the community,” Councilmember Jake Stetler agreed.


    Councilmember Bob Zent wondered about the likelihood of a nearby location being chosen as the site for the facility, noting that he has “heard” that Fremont County “is probably No. 4 on the list” behind Casper, Douglas and Sheridan.

    But Highsmith argued that Fremont County would be preferable to those locations, mainly due to wind conditions, which are “the No. 1 thing” impacting long-range shooting.

    “Shooters do not like the wind, (and they) call this the Shoshoni basin,” he said. “Our average wind speed is below what they need, (and we have) the ideal air density.”


    The shooting complex task force will also consider community support for the facility as they review potential sites, Highsmith said, so “we need to have a lot of people” in attendance at this month’s meeting in Riverton.

    “We’re seriously going after this,” he said. “We want to let the task force know that Fremont County is chasing this hard.”

    FCAG is putting together a presentation for the meeting promoting Fremont County and offering information about three or four potential sites for the shooting complex locally, Highsmith said, including two near Shoshoni, one in the Hudson-Lander area, and “maybe another one” near Riverton.

    “We’re going to be making our case,” he said. “We’ll be talking wind density and putting our best foot forward why it should be in Fremont County.”


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