MONTPELIER, Vt. — The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is offering grants to groups that want to improve shooting ranges across the state.

The Shooting Range Improvement Grant Program is designed to encourage upgrades of shooting ranges, including archery ranges, to enhance safety and operation.

Eligible projects include shooting range re-development, noise abatement structures, safety berms, shooting benches, overhead shelters, and the construction or improvement of access roads and parking lots.

An estimated $80,000 in grants will be available this year. The funds are from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Wildlife Restoration Program.

Ranges that receive a grant must provide at least 20 hours of public use per month when in operation and be open at reasonable times for hunter education courses.

Applications are due by March 15.

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