BISMARCK, N.D. — A Bismarck shooting range has been named in honor of a man who started volunteering for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department about 10 years ago.

The department held a volunteer appreciation event last weekend at the MacLean Bottoms Shooting Range for Skip Balzer and others who teach classes, help with events and do other tasks.

At the event, Balzer was surprised with the announcement that the range would now be called the Skip Balzer MacLean Bottoms Shooting Range, The Bismarck Tribune ( ) reported. A prairie rock is adorned with a brass plate with the new name.

Game and Fish education supervisor Chris Grondahl says the dedication is fitting because of the time Balzer has spent in the area hunting, fishing, camping and taking care of the range.

Balzer started out by helping with fishing activities and then asked for permission to clean up the shooting range after a flood in 2011. Balzer bought ammunition, targets and other supplies to help shooters with his own money and never asked for reimbursement, even though department staff urged him to do so.

Officials estimate that Balzer volunteers 20 to 40 hours every week.

“I think he’s crazy,” said Balzer’s friend Al Stockert. “It’s what he does. Skip has always been everything at 100 percent. There’s no side trails for him; it’s either all or none.”

Information from: Bismarck Tribune,

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