State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Richard Allan has announced that the shooting range at Little Pine State Park in Lycoming County closed on Thursday and will remain so indefinitely while a major rehabilitation project is under way.
The first phase involves the cleanup and removal of spent lead shot from the rifle and handgun sections of the range.
"This project is consistent with a nationwide effort to address the impacts of lead bullets and their accumulation in concentrated areas at shooting ranges," Allan said. "We are being proactive in taking on this project that will prevent lead from building up in the environment and will result in a much-improved range."
The archery range will remain open during the renovation.
The cleanup portion of the project is being done by MT2, of Colorado, a contractor that specializes in lead remediation.
The second phase of the project will be the reconstruction of the range, but funding still is pending. The design is almost complete.
"The new design incorporates best-management practices established by the shooting industry and incorporated at state-of-the-art facilities across the nation," Allan said.
Improvements will include earthen embankments around the range; new backstops; new shooting benches partially covered by a pavilion; improved parking and a bathroom.
The shooting range will be closed indefinitely until the second phase of construction is completed.
The range covers six acres on the north end of Little Pine State Park. It was opened to the public in the 1970s. Target backstops range from 10 to 200 yards.
The 2,158-acre Little Pine State Park is in a beautiful mountain section of Tiadaghton State Forest in the Pennsylvania Wilds.
The 94-acre Little Pine Lake, hiking trails and a campground are prime attractions at the park.
The park's page on the DCNR website will be updated periodically so the public is informed on progress on the shooting range project.
To find the page, go to www.dcnr.state.pa.us and choose "Find a Park."