‘A one-shot deal’
EVANSTON — Last year, the Wyoming legislature passed a bill creating a task force to "develop a framework for the selection of a location for the Wyoming state shooting complex, and to make recommendations for the development and administrative structure of the complex," said House Representative Jon Conrad, HD19, of Bridger Valley.
The comments came during a meeting of the Uinta County task force earlier this month at the Uinta County Complex in Evanston.
Ten million dollars has been appropriated for the project, and the local county task force – consisting of Conrad, Gregg Moretti, Ben Kemp, Clyde Kofoed, Commissioner Mark Anderson, Brian Woodward, and Jeff Bybee – believes Uinta county has a great opportunity to become the chosen site.
A provided handout from Conrad states, "We truly believe that Uinta County is the ideal choice for the state's shooting complex. The proposed location would utilize 1,000 acres located directly east of the Bear River State Park and Visitor Center. Our proximity to the Wasatch Front, the short distance from the Salt Lake City International Airport, and strong economic development opportunities within Uinta County, we feel that there is no better option in Wyoming."
Conrad further cited, "Our strong 2nd amendment beliefs, heritage, combined with numerous outdoor recreational opportunities, historic and scenic areas, we feel confident in pursuing this project. The task force specifically chose the name Jim Bridger International Shooting Complex to "incorporate and encapsulate the spirit of Jim Bridger and the Bridger Valley," added Conrad.
The minimum criteria required by the state includes: land – at least 800 acres, up to 2,500 acres. The topography, vegetation, zoning, accessibility to highways and distance to airports are all taken into consideration. Secondly, access to utilities such as water, sewer, electricity, Wi-Fi, etc. Future economic development plans are also factored into the decision-making. Finally, accommodations such as hotels, restaurants and RV parks are considered.
The task force has already been hard at work drafting a Letter of Interest (LOI). They also have tentative plans to hold a final public LOI read through prior to Feb. 7. The submission deadline is March 1.
The state will announce their top five locations in July, followed by a top three in August. The Top three locations will receive the opportunity to present an in-person site visit and oral presentation. The winning location will be announced at the end of August, the same time the funds will be released. Construction should begin by spring of 2025.