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Fees to help defray cleanup, maintenance costs at Little Pine State Park shooting range
Bureau of State Parks Director John Hallas has announced DCNR will begin charging fees for use of its shooting range at Little Pine State Park, Lycoming County, effective Friday, April 1.

The range fee structure will be consistent with that charged by the Pa. Game Commission for shooters not holding a current state hunting license. Resident fee rates will be set at $30 for individual permits and $40 for family permits. Also, a consecutive 30-day permit will be offered for $15.

Non-resident permit fees are $36 for single shooters; $48 for families. Permits are valid from the date of purchase through Dec. 31 of the year issued. Permits are available at the Little Pine State Park Office or at the self-registration station under the range pavilion.

“This fee implementation is consistent with a nationwide effort to address the impacts of lead bullets and their accumulation in concentrated areas at shooting ranges,” said Hallas. ”We’re proud of the much-improved range design and the lead remediation efforts that have occurred and will continue to be addressed.”

The first phase of range restoration, addressing cleanup and removal of spent lead in the rifle and handgun sections, was completed in 2012 by the Colorado-based MT2, a contractor specializing in lead remediation. The second phase addressed complete range restoration. Total costs approached $500,000.

“The new design has incorporated best management practices established by the shooting industry and features state-of-the-art facilities like those found across the nation at newly designed sustainable shooting ranges,” Hallas said.

Fee income will be dedicated to continued maintenance of a park facility upgraded to include: earthen embankments surrounding the range; new backstops; new shooting benches partially covered by a pavilion; improved parking and a new bathroom. Future work could include more lead remediation, replacement of backstops, benches and general upkeep.

“Visitors using the improved range over the past year have expressed their appreciation for DCNR’s efforts to improve and rehabilitate the range,” said Little Pine State Park Manager Nicholas Thomas. “Their enthusiasm for it is obvious in the amount of use it has received compared to the previous range. Many are bringing their families and teaching them about the sport of shooting and importance of safety, accuracy and practice.”

The range, covering two acres on the north end of Little Pine State Park, first was opened to the public in the 1970s. Target backstops range from 10 to 100 yards. The archery range has been adjusted and updated and continues to be open without a fee.

Little Pine is one of two public shooting ranges overseen by DCNR. The other, in Michaux State Forest in south central Pennsylvania, also will be charging comparable fees at its scheduled opening in early July.

One of 29 state parks within the Pennsylvania Wilds, the 2,158-acre Little Pine State Park is in a rugged section of Tiadaghton State Forest. The 94-acre Little Pine Lake, hiking trails and a campground are among othe major attractions at the park.

For more information on Little Pine and Pennsylvania’s other 120 state parks, visit the DCNR website.

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March 30, 2016

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