T S A overn or
HE TATE OF RlZONA Janet Napolitano
GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT ~~: r: i:~~~~~ r~ elton, Yuma
2221 West Greenway Road, Phoenix, AZ 85023- 4399 Michael M Golightly, Flagstaff
( 602) 942- 3000 • az fd. ov William H McLean, Gold Calyon
g g Bob Hernbrode, Tucson
Jennifer L Martin, Phoenix
Duane L Shroufe
Steve K Ferrell
Senator Robert Burns, Chairman - Joint Committee on Capital Review
Representative Russell Pearce, Speaker Jim Weiers, President Tim Bee, Senators
Paula Aboud, Amanda Aguirre, Marsha Arzberger, Karen S. Johnson, Thayer
Verschoor, Jim Waring, Representatives Tom Boone, Trish Groe, John Kavanagh,
Phil Lopes, David Lujan, DaRfl. hhaapira, Marcel Benberou, Richard Stavneak
Duane L. Shroufe, Director ~
2007 Sunflower shooting Range Feasibility Study ( budget footnote)
October 1, 2007
Laws 2007, Chapter 257, ( House Bill 2783, Section 4) require the Arizona Game and Fish
Department ( AGFD) to conduct a study to determine the feasibility of developing a shooting range in
the Sunflower, Arizona area. AGFD is to report its findings to the joint committee on capital review
by October 15,2007.
Thank you for your concern regarding this issue. It is the Commission and Department intent to
provide shooting ranges, where feasible, to facilitate shooting sports in Arizona. Please don't
hesitate to contact the Department in the future with questions relating to shooting ranges or
other Department subject matter.
OCT - 2 Z007
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
An Equal Opportunity Reasonable Accommodations Agency
SUNFLOWER SHOOTING RANGE
FEASIBILITY STUDY 2007
"" ~ LJ
OFFiCE OF THE PRESIDENT
Laws 2007, Chapter 257, ( House Bill 2783, Section 4) requires the Arizona Game and Fish
Department ( AGFD) to conduct a study to detennine the feasibility of developing a shooting
range in the Sunflower, Arizona area. AGFD is to report its findings to the joint committee on
capital review by October 15,2007.
In completing this feasibility study, AGFD identified several significant issues regarding the
feasibility of developing a shooting range in the Sunflower area:
• Special Use pennits from the Forest Service on the current site require reclamation and
the removal of Department of Public Service ( DPS) buildings at the end of the pennit
• Environmental, riparian and wildlife habitat areas may be affected.
• Population centers proximity and commute time to the proposed site.
• Other recreational activities take place adjacent to this site.
• Roads and utility lines are adjacent to this site.
• The footprint ofthe proposed site would not provide adequate yardage for a range.
The AGFD would not recommend the Sunflower area as a shooting range.
Region VI ( Mesa) conducted a site- visit of the old Arizona Department of Public Safety ( DPS)
pistol range site situated on the fonner DPS/ ADOT yard near Sunflower.
The location of this property is on the
dead- end old alignment of the Beeline
Highway, and adjacent to the eastern
public access point to Forest Road 393 /
power line road to Bartlett Dam ( see
map below). The site is about 100 yards
from the mature riparian gallery along
Sycamore Creek, and there is also a
natural spring a few hundred yards to the
west of the site. The property is south
and adjacent to the Great Western Trail,
a trailhead and parking area. The Tonto
Forest's Sunflower Workstation, as well
IWS pIstol r; lll~~.
as the site of a planned riparian educational center, is just one mile down the road to the south,
and the headquarters for the Cross- F Ranch is about Y4 mile up the road to the north.
This property was operated by DPS under a Special Use Permit with the Tonto National Forest
( TNF). DPS vacated the property after the realignment and conversion of the Beeline Highway
( State Route 87) into a divided highway was completed. DPS response time from Payson and
Mesa was greatly improved, so the need for their personnel to live at Sunflower no longer
existed. According to the TNF, when the DPS special use permit expires, DPS must remove the
buildings and restore the site to its natural condition.
III. Areas of Concern
This site has been suggested as a
possible location for development
or use as a public shooting range
since DPS used it for firearms
practice. A small range with dirt
berm does occur on the site.
However, the area behind the old
range does not have an adequate
backstop to stop bullets downrange
from impacting a large power line.
In addition, Forest Road 393 is
upslope a couple hundred yards
from behind the shooting berm ( see
attached photo's), and also
proximate to the site are a couple
of popular hiking trails.
Improvements to the existing pistol
berms would still not adequately protect these features from down range or wayward bullets.
Leaking diesel underground storage tanks on site would complicate the reclamation of this
property and any further expansion or development of a shooting range at this specific location
would also result in adverse impacts to sensitive species and riparian habitat, and not be
compatible with other recreational uses the TNF has planned / designated for this area.
The site traditionally used by DPS, for a range, was 75 yards by 125 yards. While this may be
useful for a pistol range, rifle ranges usually require as much as 500 - 1000 yards with most
individuals sighting in their rifles at 200+ yards.
Payson, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction and Mesa are the closest population centers to this site.
In studies the AGFD has found that the amount of time a person is willing to travel to a shooting
range must remain under 25 minutes. This site does not meet this minimum standard. As such,
for the reasons listed above, we would not recommend this site for a public shooting range.
Map of Sunflower, Arizona area
CD U : lJ) 3jmB
I I" ,. "" i1t 1 • o 1 2 3 4 5km
Mop "".. od with TOPOIIll 02003 NatioMlGoogMphic ( WW\ V~ hic com/ lopo)
IV. Supplemental Information
The following information details the site and the potential problems with placing a shooting
range in this area.
1. Shooting berm at Sunflower ADOTIDPS Yard with power lines in the background. Not
visible is FS 393 on the hill to the left. Crossing behind the range is a hiking trail that is
part ofthe Arizona Trail system.
2. View looking west with berm on the left and generator shed in the background. This area
was cleared to remediate a leaking underground diesel storage tank.
3. View looking south across monitoring wells for leaking underground storage tank toward one
of the houses on the site.
4. One ofthe residences at the site.
5. View looking northeast across the site. Sycamore Creek and the old Beeline Highway is in the
background at the base ofthe hill.
6. View looking east from the top ofthe shooting berm toward the two residences on the site.
7. Another view of the shooting berm.
9. View from Google Earth showing the Sunflower ADOT yard before remediation was done for
the leaking diesel tank. The day this image was taken there was a thin cloud cover.
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