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The increased popularity of recreational shooting has prompted noise concerns from adjacent neighborhoods
Contact: Aaron Byrne, Solid Waste Director, 970-668-4295
SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit County has reduced the hours of operation and commissioned a sound study of the Summit County Shooting Range, on Landfill Road in Keystone. The range now opens one hour later and closes two hours earlier on summer weekends, in response to noise concerns from residents of nearby neighborhoods.
Summit County’s only public shooting range is located on property owned by Summit County near the Summit County Resource Allocation Park (SCRAP). A local nonprofit, the Summit Range Association, manages the range.
The SCRAP property encompasses 466 acres. In addition to landfill, recycling and composting operations, the property hosts a number of recreational activities. These recreational uses include hiking and mountain biking trails, a motocross track, disc golf course, archery range and firearms shooting range.
Summit County has seen substantial growth in the popularity of the recreational amenities at the SCRAP in recent years. The upward trend has been especially noticeable this summer – including a marked increase in use at the shooting range – as many other activities and events have been curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shooting range has been in use for many years, but increased activity this summer has led to a large uptick in range-related noise complaints lodged to Summit County. In response, the County is working with the Summit Range Association to identify strategies to reduce the range’s impacts on surrounding residential neighborhoods.
In July, the Summit County Board of Commissioners reduced the shooting range’s weekend operating hours to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in order to eliminate shooting noise during the early morning and evening hours. Weekday operating hours remain 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The County is investigating access-control options to prevent activity outside operating hours and is encouraging community members to report any violations when they occur.
The board also authorized funding for County staff to hire an acoustical consultant to study the range noise and identify potential mitigation measures. The County has selected Siebein Associates to perform the analysis. Siebein has extensive experience with outdoor shooting ranges, including work for Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
Acoustical analysis will begin immediately; the consultant will provide a final report and recommendations by the end of the year. In concert with the study, Summit County will coordinate a community outreach effort to gather public input, including a survey of range users.
Summit County recognizes the value of providing a safe and appropriate place for recreational shooting within the community.
“Having a free public shooting range is a major recreational benefit for the community," SCRAP Director Aaron Byrne said. "It serves as a safe place to shoot, which helps to mitigate the risk of wildfire during the summer. But we certainly understand that the associated noise can have a negative impact on nearby neighborhoods, and we want to take steps to reduce that impact. We’re optimistic that the noise study will identify some effective solutions.”
Residents who hear any gunfire from the shooting range outside of the new hours of operation should report the incident by calling the non-emergency line at the Summit County 911 Center: 970-668-8600. This will allow local law enforcement to respond and address the violation.
Additional information about the shooting range can be found on the Summit County website.