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DOW has money for fishing, shooting, boating

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is seeking grant applications to help distribute up to $1.5 million for three types of outdoor recreation activities in Colorado. The Division is offering matching grants for projects in the state that benefit fishing, shooting ranges or motorized boating.

“In the past five years, these programs have leveraged millions of dollars in matching funds to help in dozens of projects for sportsmen and sportswomen around the state,” explained Tom Remington, director of the Division of Wildlife. “We can only help with the projects that we hear about so we hope lots of great projects will be submitted.”

The Fishing Is Fun grant program seeks projects that will improve angling access, angling conditions or fish habitat. For the 2011 funding cycle, the Division of Wildlife has up to $900,000 to distribute to projects around the state. In the past 23 years, the Fishing Is Fun program has provided financial support for more than 270 projects statewide including projects to open new ponds and lakes, improve fish habitat in streams and rivers and add trails, shade shelters and parking areas. Municipalities, counties, angler groups and park and recreation departments are among those eligible to apply for community-based projects that will benefit anglers. The deadline to apply for the 2011 Fishing Is Fun funding cycle is March 1, 2011. Complete details on the Fishing Is Fun grant program are available on-line at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/ResourcesTips/FishingIsFunProgram/.

The Motorboat Colorado! program is looking for projects that open new waters to gas-powered motorboats or improve facilities at lakes or reservoirs that already allow motorboat access. Motorboat Colorado! has up to $300,000 in matching funds for the 2011 funding cycle for projects such as new boat ramps, docks or access roads. Funding can also be used to establish cleaning facilities to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species. The application deadline for Motorboat Colorado! is March 11, 2011. For more information on Motorboat Colorado!, visit http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/ResourcesTips/MotorboatColorado/.

The Shooting Range Development grant program started in 2009 and will provide up to $300,000 in 2011 to aid in the development of new shooting ranges or improve existing ranges. Matching funds can be used for berms, backstops, fencing, signage, parking or other range components. Acquisition of property for construction of new shooting ranges is also considered under the program. The application deadline for the 2011 Shooting Range Development grant program is Jan. 31, 2011. Details on the Shooting Range Development program can be found at http://wildlife.state.co.us/Hunting/ShootingRanges/ShootingRangeGrants/.

Examples of projects that have received funding since 2005 can be seen at http://wildlife.state.co.us/NR/rdonlyres/375793AB-1C5D-49D3-88A9-532125B479FF/0/FIF_MOCO_Shootingprojectsmap.pdf.

Funds for these grant programs come from federal excise taxes on hunting, fishing and boating equipment through the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs (see http://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/). Additional funding also comes from hunting and fishing licenses fees raised here in Colorado.