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Merced
Fish & Game, Inc.


A 501 (c) (4)
non-profit Corporation


RELOCATION


SUPPORT

GRANTS

ECONOMIC BENEFITS

• Trap fields
• Skeet fields
• Clays course
• Meeting house
• Registration          Building
• Bathroom             Facilities
• The California        Waterfowl             Association           Museum
• RV parking
• Storage facilities
• One workshop
• Resident manager
• General parking


SSgt Johnson in Competetion

Merced Public Range & Sporting Complex
Olympic Training Center
Welcome to the Merced Fish & Game Olympic Training Center
   :: Who we are  
 

Merced Fish & Game, Inc. began as a private organization called the Merced Fish & Game Protective Association in 1917 at the corner of G Street and Black Rascal. We moved to its past location at the Merced Airport in 1947. In 1999 we were informed by the Airport that we had to vacate due to Airport expansion. Since then we have been operating out of several places including the site we are now trying to lease from the City of Merced. At present we are operating our Trap and Skeet facilities from the Los Banos Sportsman's Club. We currently have a membership of 135 local families and is governed by a Board consisting of 15 members.

In order to resolve any confusion surrounding the legal status of Merced Fish & Game, Inc., we would like to define its status:  Merced Fish & Game, Inc. is a 501 (c) (4) non-profit Mutual Benefit Corporation. It has not and will never be a profit-oriented organization.

 

 
   
  :: Merced Fish & Game, Inc. Proposal For a Year Round Clay Shooting Sports Facility in conjunction with California Natural Resources Foundation
 
 

RELOCATION      (Click on pictures to enlarge)



We are currently in the process of relocation. Our criteria for relocation is to identify a piece of property near Merced with land that would not be affected by the addition of lead (We do contract for lead reclaim as needed). We concentrated our searches on former dumpsites as any lead tainting would not affect the site and our project would in actuality “reclaim” the land for civic use. As such, we have identified a piece of Merced City property not currently in use that may fit our needs. This approximately 247-acre parcel is located on the northwest side of the City’s Water Treatment facility on Gove Road encompassing the former dumpsite and its adjacent vacant drying ponds. We do not intend to build directly on top of the former burn-dump, just adjacent to it. As drying ponds are already contaminated with over 60,000 toxic substances and chemical substances (as per the Worldwatch Institute: "Recycling Organic Waste”), any application that this facility might propose will not contribute further contamination. This site fits our needs as it is already contaminated from the dump site and as drying ponds for the water treatment facility, a rural location without adjacent housing, is easy to find by people from outside the area, and lends itself well to our redevelopment efforts.

The undertaking Merced Fish & Game, Inc. is proposing will be a professionally designed project consisting of:
• 40 Trap fields, 12 of which will be overlaid with Skeet fields,
• A sporting clays course in future plans,
• A meeting house,
• A registration building,
• Several bathroom facilities,
• The California Waterfowl Association Museum,
• RV parking with full hook-ups,
• Additional RV parking,
• Several storage facilities,
• One workshop,
• One pre-manufactured home for the resident manager,
• General parking for additional vehicles.

We will also incorporate our annual Pheasant Hunt (run by the California Department of Fish & Game) on adjacent City owned property, into the project. The purpose of this State-run hunt will allow children and adults that would not otherwise be able to hunt the opportunity to hunt pheasants in a controlled environment.

SUPPORT      (Click on pictures to enlarge)

This entire effort will be a multi-million dollar project that will be funded with Federal and State Grants, funds from the California Golden State Trap Association relocation fund, donations from Regional and National organizations, and private donations. We currently have engineers, landscapers, and other professional organizations at our disposal for the development of this site. There will be no City or County of Merced dollars involved in the development of this project.

Support for this project is being sought and is rapidly coming in from all sectors:

State Assembly Members
Amateur Trap Association
California Department of Fish & Game
Wildlife Conservation Board, State of California
Pacific International Trap Association
National Rifle Association
California Waterfowl Association
National Resource Conservation Service (US Department of Agriculture)
Ducks Unlimited
Grasslands Resource Conservation District
Grasslands Water District
The Integrated Waste Management Board has approved the use of the contaminated area for the construction of a clay target facility. The State Water Resources Control Board also supports this endeavor.

No other facility of this kind has ever had the advantages that are being utilized by this project. Through their affiliation with the California Natural Resource Foundation, a charitable foundation, all donations will be tax deductible. With the caliber of the people that a trap facility such as this will incur, the donations for its construction should cover all the required buildings and fixed improvements.

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

  

Amateur Trapshooting Association of America
601 West National Road
Vandalia, Ohio 45377

National Shooting Sports Foundation
11 Mile Hill Road
Newtown, Conn. 06470-2359
This agency has offered its support, both financially and through design and its membership, toward the development of this facility.

California Golden State Trap Association
Merced Fish & Game, Inc. will be working in coordination with the California Golden State Trap Association to solicit membership donations. In their past effort at the Castle Air Base, they were able to solicit enough donations to cover all the trap houses and the buildings. We intend to utilize these contacts to garner additional support for the State Home Club.

Paralyzed American Veterans
This agency has pledged its support and cooperation in the development of this facility. This support ranges from basic design to the utilization of its political affiliations and membership roles. They are also interested in holding handicapped shoots here once the facility is operational.

National Rifle Association
11250 Waples Mill Road
Fairfax, Virginia 22030

Although most support has come in conversations with individuals and agencies, actual written Letters of Support are attached.

Grants:      (Click on pictures to enlarge)
 
In all cases, Grant recipients must have control over the project site. Without control, such as a long-term lease, grant-funding agencies will not consider the application for grant monies. The following are a few of the agencies that are geared toward funding for projects such as the one being proposed here:

Department of Education
Recreation Programs
Range of awards $120,000-$140,000

Department of Education
Rehabilitation Act Grant
600 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4725
Grants made to new projects for Disabled on ongoing basis.
Up to $500,000 for up to 3-5 years post assistance

California Wildlife Conservation Board
801 K Street
Sacramento, California 95814
Grant Awards: $500,000+

Environmental Protection Agency
Brownfields Assessment Demonstration Pilots
These funds provide for the redevelopment of Brownfield sites where private developers and financiers are not able or willing to act on their own. This funding source provides significant funds for these areas at specific times of year.

US Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 1
Division of Federal Aid
911 NE 11th
Portland, Oregon 97232-4181
Some funds from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program are earmarked to develop hunter education training facilities and public target ranges. States are encouraged to provide these funds through grants to third parties. Funds are available through:

California Department of Fish and Game.
PO Box 944209
Sacramento, California 94244-2090

ECONOMIC BENEFITS       (Click on pictures to enlarge)
 
This project will generate extensive sales tax revenue as well as employment opportunities for Merced County residents. The annual California State Trap Shoot has been held in Kingsburg for decades and will be moved to the Merced site when the range is complete. This annual shoot consists of over 700 shooters and has been generating approximately $1,000,000 in sales revenue for the Kingsburg area over the 8-day period. We are also anticipating the relocation of the Annual State Skeet Shoot to the Merced Range. Other Trap and Skeet Shoots that are anticipated for this site include:
• The Zone Trap Shoot (500 shooters)
• A Satellite Grand Trap Shoot (750 shooters)
• The Ducks Unlimited State Trap Shoot (250 shooters)
• The California Waterfowl State Trap Shoot (300 shooters)
• Monthly ATA and PITA Trap Shoots (100+ shooters each weekend)
• League Trap and Skeet Shoots (100+ shooters at each event)
• The NorCal State Skeet Shoot (500 shooters)
• Possibly the World Skeet Shoot (750 shooters)
*The number of shooters is approximate and based upon historical trends.

Sporting Clays will also add tremendous attendance as these are attended on a regular basis and also offer sanctioned shoots. These shoots will generate significant use of motels, restaurants, grocery store, gasoline stations, and other retail establishments in Merced.

We will employ up to 120 local individuals for large shoots, 10 full-time positions, and up to 35 additional individuals for smaller shoots. A full-time on-site manager who shall reside in a modular home on the property will manage these positions. Our estimated timeframes are for the project to begin in September 1999 with completion in May 2000.

The Amateur Trapshooting Association, a nationwide shooting organization consisting of over 50,000 members, also sponsors University Shoots. These events allow Universities the ability to compete nationally in trap, skeet and sporting clays competition. It is anticipated that this will allow the UC Merced to expand its curriculum through the utilization of our facilities. We intend to offer the use of our facilities to the University and, as a non-profit organization, to subsidize a scholarship program.

The Grand American Trap Shoot in Vandalia, Ohio reflects the economic and social potential that a trap shoot can bring into a community. This trap shoot demonstrates the potential of a large shooting facility. The amount the Grand American brings into the Vandalia area is around $10,000,000 over a two-week period, with the event held only once per year. This is the result of about 6,000 shooters. The size of the shoots that the new Merced clay sporting facility will host will be around 800-1,000 shooters. The distinction with the Merced facility is that the facility will start off with 5-6 major shoots per year and will escalate to 12 major shoots annually over a five-year period. We will also host weekly sanctioned shoots once the facility is up and running.

Carl Reynolds, a Director of the California Golden State Trap Association, has stated that the annual State Trap Shoot brings in the greater Kingsburg area more than $1,000,000 each year. When you take into account the possibility of 12 shoots of this size each year and factor in the multiplier, which is set for each county by the US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, we hope you will appreciate that this proposed project is a win-win situation for the city and county of Merced.

This project is a positive step for the City and County of Merced. The City will generate tax revenue from significantly increased sales tax from the thousands attending shooters, jobs will be created, land contaminated by the dumpsite will be reclaimed for useful purposes, and individuals that may never have come to Merced will become very familiar with what it has to offer. Proper advertising of future Merced events will entice attendees to Merced Fish & Game, Inc. events to return to Merced on occasions other than shooting events. As a non-profit organization, the facilities being built will enable us to donate large amounts of time and money to the community.

There have been a number of questions raised by the City officials and the City Council, which we will address here. The following are the answers to these questions.

1. Lead contamination: 98% of the lead is easily recovered through proven traditional mining. As lead is an inert mineral, it does not contaminate the soil unless abraded. Also adding to its stability is the fact that the lead shot that is dispensed by clay target shooters is not pure lead but is mixed with tin for hardness and chilled making it even more stable and environmentally sound. In a letter from the Integrated Waste Management Board to the City of Merced dated September 22, 1998 they stated in paragraph 2 "Lead associated with the activities should not impact the immediate site concentrations".

2. Health Department: Merced County Health Department has determined that there is no danger to public health through our use of the site. This was originally discussed with Jeff Paalsgard and confirmed via the Integrated Waste Management Board through Hassan Golbad, also of the Merced County Public Health Department.

3. Containing Shot: The site will be designed to contain all the lead shot on the grounds. At no point will lead shot fall on a road or on adjoining property. The layout we have provided shows the care that has been taken to ensure that all the shot dispensed at the facility remains within an area that allows us to mine the shot. With size 7 1/2 shot being the predominant shot size, this shot loaded with 3 drams of powder can not travel over 625 feet. We have added at least a 200+ foot barrier as our bare minimum distance for safety and to contain the lead.

4. Entrance to Facility: The entrance to the facility will be two-fold to maximize the distribution of traffic on any one road. The first entrance will utilize Gove Road and will enter the proposed facility on the West Side of the Eucalyptus trees behind the police shooting range. The second potential path will come also from the West side as a private road from El Capitan Road. The second path will require a culvert to channel the Hartley Drain Ditch. A meeting with the County Planning Department revealed that this is a feasible solution and would have to meet County Roads Department specifications.

5. Dump Integrity: There was some concern that we would be violating the integrity of the existing cap on the burn dumpsite. Our plans only call for a grass park to inhabit the actual dumpsite. There will be no breach of the cap for any purpose.

6. Trap grounds in City Limits: As there are already a number of trap sites located within city limits, this is not a new endeavor. The ATA home grounds are located within on the Dayton International Airport grounds. Just in the state of California, there are also 6 trap ranges located on city property and 2 on active military facilities. Outside of the State of California, the list of clay ranges located within city limits is endless. There are even a few owned by the actual city in which they reside.

7. Water: Water for the facility will come from more than once source. The first source will be runoff water from the wastewater treatment plant that will be used expressly for irrigation. The second source will come from water from a deep well that will be used for drinking. We have met with Ed Mitchell of Mitchell Drilling and he assures us that we can have a well dug that will provide pollution free water. There are also several other alternatives such as a water treatment system or the buying of purified water in bulk or in bottles that will fit our needs.

8. Parking: The engineering plan we have developed shows adequate RV parking (300 RV's) as well as basically unlimited parking that will be developed to the northwest of the Eucalyptus trees.

9. Fire Suppression: We will be provided direction from the City Fire Department in the best management techniques for fire suppression. This will be incorporated into our design as we progress. In order to deal with the Eucalyptus trees, already addressed as the major fire suppression obstacle, we have met with the Boy Scouts of America and they will be helping with the clearing of Eucalyptus trees and debris. This will serve three purposes:
• The Boy Scouts will use this as fund raising effort as they will be given all the wood removed from the site. This will also provide the scouts with the ability to earn additional badges and experience.
• The debris and select trees will be removed to reduce the fire hazard as per direction from the Fire Department.
• The area will then be developed for RV parking, small vehicle parking, the construction of the main meeting facility, and the construction of the California Waterfowl Association Museum.

10. Multiplex Property: There was some discussion that the habitat area known as the Multiplex was contracted with the California Department of Fish & Game. There is no written agreement on this land with the Department of Fish & Game. Further research has also shown that this area was originally planted by Merced Fish & Game, Inc. using corp. funds. This area can also be mitigated if necessary.

11. Indemnity/Insurance: Although we have not been required to have this type of insurance for the past 51 years that we have inhabited the airport property, we have researched this item and found that insurance of this sort is available. We can also provide indemnification to the City as part of the lease which is standard practice. A sample of the wording that we can place in the lease is as follows:

INDEMNITY HOLD HARMLESS
Merced Fish & Game, Inc. will defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the City of Merced, its agents, officers and employees against all suits and claims that may be based on injury to persons or property that is the result of an error, omission or negligent act of Merced Fish & Game, Inc. and its officers, agents, or employees in the performance of this contract. The City of Merced will defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Merced Fish & Game, Inc., its agents, officers, and employees against all suits and claims that may be based on an injury to persons or property that is the result of an error, omission, or negligent acts of the City of Merced and its officers, agents, or employees in the performance of this contract.

12. Funding: There are numerous funding sources that are established to provide funding for this type of project. We have been in contact with 10 different agencies that have grants available for the development and maintenance of clay facilities. However we cannot apply for these funds until we have secured a long-term lease. There will be no City or County funds involved in this project.

13. In conclusion, we are requesting a favorable consideration of our application for a long-term lease for the construction of the finest trap and skeet range in the western United States. This is a win-win situation for the City and County and people of Merced. Merced will have a multi-million dollar facility, paid for with outside funds that will generate significant tax revenues through the tourist’s dollars that it brings into the community on a continual basis. Rather than being an occasional seasonal type of tourist attraction, this facility will provide a stable income throughout the year at a level not currently seen in Merced.

(Click on picture to enlarge)

 
 
 

 

 

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  Merced Public Range & Sporting Complex
Olympic Training Center


Collyn Roper

 

 

 

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