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League bows out on archery range

The future of a new, more accessible archery range in the Superior Municipal Forest is uncertain after members of the Douglas County Fish and Game League met with the Parks and Recreation Commission last week.

A plan to relocate the archery range, which is partially in a ravine, was developed after the city was approached by members of the league, according to Linda Cadotte, parks, recreation and forestry director. The plan was developed with input from the league and people from Ravin Crossbow and Feradyne Outdoors, she said.

The proposal is estimated to cost about $587,000 with the course to be built over two years with funding from the city's capital improvement program.

"We had a discussion on the range," said Erick Flood, president of the Douglas County Fish and Game League. "We're not opposed to it."

However, Flood said, the league is not in a position to contribute to the project, except to possibly provide some maintenance of the new range or to offer a donation for the project.

"I think it's a great thing," Flood said of the proposed range in the city forest.

He said the league would continue to maintain its existing range in the forest until a new one is built. Once the new range is built, the league would abandon its existing range in the forest and turn the land back to the city.

The Douglas County Fish and Game League has maintained the archery range in the forest for about 20 years, one member said.

The league has plans of its own for a small archery range at its existing shooting range outside of Superior.

"The majority of people nowadays are going to crossbow," Flood said. From a safety perspective, he said it makes more sense for the league to put in a couple of block targets at the Constance range where there is nothing else to build.

Flood said he expected the new targets would be added to the Constance range by the end of the summer.

"We would be glad to help you out with some stuff, or even make a donation toward it," Flood said. "Some of the members, I believe, would still like to use this new range."

However Parks & Recreation Commissioners weren't sure how to proceed after learning the league had different plans for an archery range than those developed for the city.

Council President Keith Kern questioned what the Commission's next step would be.

Cadotte said the Commission could consider funding through the capital improvement program, or could keep the current range, which is only partially used because of a ravine. The latter option, Cadotte said, is part of the recently approved disc golf course planned for the forest, which would have to be reconsidered. The Commission could also eliminate the existing range, Cadotte said.

After going through the process for a comprehensive outdoor recreation plan, Commissioner Brittney Markgren said she didn't recall the archery range being a high priority in general.

The Parks & Recreation Commission will consider how to proceed when it meets next month. The next scheduled meeting is at 5 p.m. Feb. 28.