Arkansas Game and Fish Commission launches new recreational shooting division


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Little Rock, Arkansas – During the routinely conducted commission meeting last week, Austin Booth, Director of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), disclosed the initiation of a novel division within the AGFC. This division is designed to center on recreational shooting, facilitating the growth of shooting ranges and corresponding programs throughout the state.

Booth underscored the enduring link between conservation and shooting, tracing back to the era of the Pittman-Robertson Act, a testament to the fact that hunters and recreational shooters often emerge as the most fervent and effective conservationists in the nation. Booth further highlighted that a prominent request from numerous Arkansas communities is enhanced support for recreational shooting endeavors.

The newly formed Recreational Shooting Division will be under the interim stewardship of Chief Grant Tomlin. Tomlin, a dedicated member of the AGFC’s Education Division for a decade, has been managing the recreational shooting facet of AGFC’s programs during this tenure.

Several popular shooting sports programs organized by AGFC, including Archery in the Schools and the Youth Shooting Sports Program, have thrived under the guidance and endorsement of the educational leadership. These successful programs will constitute the backbone of this fresh division.

The AGFC, as mentioned in a recent press release, plans to concentrate on establishing facilities through collaborative efforts with local municipalities and organizations.

Booth also shed light on AGFC’s aspiration to cultivate a partnership with the city of Clarksville and the University of the Ozarks. During his inaugural address as the chief of the new division, Tomlin expressed that this alliance would contribute significantly to the growth of the university’s nationally acknowledged Clay Target Shooting Program. This will be achieved by constructing an Olympic-standard shooting sports facility in Clarksville, accessible to both students and the broader public.

Tomlin informed that a finalized memorandum of understanding is currently under preparation for commissioner review, with an expectation of its presentation in the upcoming month.

He further stated the AGFC’s intent to offer up to $2 million in matching funds to support the university in the construction of the proposed $12 million facility. This matching fund will be subject to the university securing the remaining necessary funds.

The establishment of this new division, along with the prospective university partnership, are crucial steps towards realizing the objectives outlined in The Natural State Tomorrow, AGFC’s strategic plan for the next five years.


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