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You Asked: What is the status of the two shooting ranges in Eagle?

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Two different shooting ranges have been proposed in Eagle over the past year, with one by Avimor moving ahead and the other near Spring Valley still in the planning stages. 

The first project proposed by the City of Eagle, in March would be an 80-acre, shooting sports park on Willow Creek road north of Beacon Light Road. It would be built on a 300-acre parcel donated to the city by the Utah-based developers The Clyde Companies and GWC Capital, which are building the planned community Spring Valley on the land next door. 

The shooting sports park is proposed to include separate ranges for archery and 3D archery, ranges for rifles, shotguns and pistols as well as a separate locked law enforcement range for training. 

The other range is planned for Pearl Road in Boise County, west of Highway 55 near Avimor. This range will be located on 40 acres of land owned by Avimor and leased to the nonprofit Crowfoot Range. The area is already frequently used for illegal shooting, according to KTVB

Both ranges have been divisive. Nearby residents to the range sites and equestrian groups are concerned about the noise from the range interrupting the peace and quiet of the area, impacts the development could have on recreation and possible fire danger from bullets striking rocks. But, supporters say these ranges will provide an amenity residents want and will provide a safe, structured place to shoot so people stop using these areas for illegal target practice. 

Boise County approved the range near Avimor with several conditions in September, while the City of Eagle just completed a round of studies on the parcel and is hoping to bring a full proposal to the public for input in January. 

What’s the status of the City of Eagle range?

When asked about the status of the project, city spokesperson Dana Biberston declined to give details and instead directed BoiseDev to the city’s page for meeting agendas and the city web page for the project. 

But, the subject came up at the November 1 Town Hall hosted by Eagle City Council. At the meeting, Pierce responded to a question about the project saying now that the city completed studies on the parcel it’s ready to move ahead with more planning. There have been no final decisions on whether the project will be built, but due diligence continues. 

“Once we have all that information to know exactly what we’re doing we will take it to the public for input,” Pierce said “We did those studies and now what will happen is once we gain all of the information we’ll go again to the public and say ‘here’s the final product, what do you think?’” 

Eagle City Council during the November 1 town hall meeting Photo: Margaret Carmel/BoiseDev

Eagle City Council heard an update on the project on October 25 and unanimously voted to proceed with a request for proposals to create a final design with noise mitigation measures built in. Council Members also said the RFQ should note the project is capped at $500,000 unless the City of Eagle gets more funds. 

Since the project was introduced, the city has completed an environmental study, a noise study and a traffic study of the area. It also conducted an opinion survey about the project, which shows out of 836 responses 59% supported the sports park. 

Long Range Planning Director for the City of Eagle Nichoel Baird Spencer told the council the noise study found the site met all state, county and local standards for noise and the “requirements were either met or exceeded.” For recommendations, she said the study, which was peer-reviewed by a second outside firm, suggested closing the range at 7 p.m. or at sunset if it’s earlier, opening at noon, limiting operations on Sundays and changing the orientation of the shotgun range to ensure the sound travels north away from homes. 

The traffic study found Willow Creek Road will still be meeting Ada County Highway District’s service requirements and no traffic light will be required. The environmental study recommended wildlife-friendly fencing, efforts to plant new grass over any disturbed soil and take care to wash equipment going in and out of the site to prevent invasive species. 

Avimor range approved

Boise County took nearly a year to say yes to the Crowfoot Range, but the County Commissioners eventually gave it the green light. 

The Planning & Zoning Commission first held a public hearing on the project in October 2021, but tabled the project in order to hear more testimony. This was followed by a series of special meetings about the shooting range at the proposed site itself and the Garden Valley shooting range. Another public hearing was held in February of 2022 before it was tabled again to April when it was approved with conditions. 

The project was soon appealed by several homeowners in Boise County and the Boise County Commissioners had to weigh in. They held a public hearing on the range in July, tabled the matter to August and eventually agreed to uphold the Planning & Zoning Commission’s decision in September. 

There were a variety of conditions on the project, including rules preventing anyone from using it until ten-foot high berms are constructed along the first two phases to prevent stray bullets from leaving the area. The long-range rifle shooting area can also not be used until a ten-foot-tall, 300-foot-long berm is constructed along the northeast side of the shooting bay. 

Each shooting lane must have a shooting shelter to prevent stray bullets from flying, the range must abide by rules set by the Eagle Fire Department including seasonal restrictions to prevent fire danger and it will be open six days per week from 8 a.m. or one hour after sunrise, whichever is later, and close at 6 p.m. or one hour before sunset, whichever is earlier. 

Crowfoot Range is required to have a fire break around the property and keep a 5,000-gallon tank on the property for fire suppression. 

The range will also have to comply with noise standards set out in Idaho code. 

BoiseDev Project Tracker
Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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