I don’t want to count chickens before they hatch, so, I’ll try not to do so in this informational note. If for nothing else, this information means a lot to us at the Trash No Land organization.  It could mean big things coming, or, it could simply mean some great recognition.

This past week, Bryan, our Vice President, and I met with the Statewide Coordinator for the Oregon Dept of Fish & Wildlife Hunter Safety Education program. We spent all day with him, and our ODF contact, riding around together having great conversations covering the full spectrum of recreational shooting on public land.

He loves our organization, our direction and our values! He’s excited about the fact we are working ‘outside the box’ in the development of the Wolf Creek shooting lanes in Tillamook State Forest, Oregon, (not your typical shooting range!). He is going to recommend that our organization be included into the Oregon Hunter Safety Education program as part of their statewide class curriculum. (That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, but it means there is great hope we may be part of the everyday Hunter Ed classes throughout Oregon). I’m trying to be reasonably by thinking it may only be as a handout brochure, however, it may very well include a bit of discussion on public land target practice and perhaps class use of the lanes for their field requirements.

He has offered several ways to help us towards developing more shooting lanes on state lands. Assistance with ODFW grants for new lanes, required soil studies for federal grants and brochure design and printing are just a few. He will be a great asset to our ability to accomplish our goals of helping to provide quality, safe and sustainable shooting on public lands, raising awareness and causing a positive difference in recreational shooting.

He has invited Bryan and I to speak at the Oregon Association of Shooting Ranges meeting in December in Salem. We accepted. We plan to introduce Trash No Land and speak about our existing and proposed lane developments. The OASR can help in several ways… They are the ones who provide the soil studies we need (at no cost to us), they offer special donations to deserving organizations and offer some other great financial benefits as well.

Here is the letter of support he wrote for our recent grant application, from the NRA Foundation, for the improvements we’re seeking at the existing North Fork Wolf Creek Shooting Lanes…

To Whom It May Concern:

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Hunter Education Program would like to express our support for the grant that you are seeking with the NRA Foundation. Your shooting lanes on public lands (partnerships with Oregon Department of Forestry) provides a vital role in providing a safe place for the public to shoot at. These shooting lanes and the mission of the Trash No Lands closely match the mission of the Oregon hunter education program; this mission of promoting safe, lawful, and responsible recreational shooting is much needed. This essential partnership will allow for hunter education instructors to teach future shooters and hunters the proper firearm safety practices at these shooting lanes.

Your concept of providing shooting lanes on public land will allow the public to have a safe place to shoot it will also provide the hunter education program a long term place to provide hunter education instructors a place to do the live fire requirement of these classes. ODFW fully supports any projects that update and expand shooting ranges.

This is a most excellent and valuable contact to have!  I have a good feeling that things will be growing very well for us in 2018!  I hope we live up to their expectations and deliver the team work necessary to accomplishing the goals of achieving positive change in recreational shooting behaviors.

As for the team work part, we just saw it happen in a big way!  Late last week, we heard of the NRA Foundations’ grant application that was to close on Nov 14th and if we wanted to get in on that, for financial help this coming Spring/Summer, we’d best apply now!  A few emails and phone calls later, we had several, from our ‘War Room’ team planning committee forum, working extra overtime to compile all the info needed to satisfy the application requirements.  Down to the wire!!!  It is a $10,000 + grant request to do improvements and upgrades to the existing Wolf Creek Lanes!

I clicked the ‘Send’ button 2 min’s before the deadline and got an immediate response that 2 fields need input.  I uploaded a PDF and edited the second one, then made the mistake of reviewing the rest of the application (for the 5th time at least).  I hit ‘Send’ again at 7 min’s after the deadline!  My heart sunk as I saw the time.  I thought, “I missed it.  After all that work!  I missed it!”  A few min’s later I received a confirmation that the application was successfully submitted!  Three days later now, and I just received an official confirmation from the NRA Foundation!  We made it!  Grant Request successfully submitted!

That was real team work!  No way could I have put this together and made the deadline in that short of time by myself.  Thank you to Lisa, our Media Consultant, Randy of ODF, Aaron, our Treasurer/Board of Directors and Bryan our Vice President.  You all took your rolls seriously and didn’t waist any time in getting busy to get it done!  THANK YOU!

It’s time to dig in, folks, and focus on what we can do to build this organization into a viable, strong and ‘get it done’ type organization.  We need to build membership, funds, programs and start seeing some results for our efforts.  We need to have a ton of fun while doing it.  This is not work, it’s fun with a benefit that makes a difference.  Let’s go for it!

Bill