Laurel County shooting range closed after recurring vandalism

LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - After months of reported vandalism, the United States Forest Service closed a popular recreation area until repairs are made.

The Whitman Branch Shooting Range near Laurel River Lake was closed this week due to extensive damages at the site.

“Due to inappropriate use and vandalism over time, this recreational shooting range had deteriorated to an unsafe and unsightly condition,” said District Ranger Jason Nedlo with the Daniel Boone National Forest. “We want to provide our visitors with a place to enjoy outdoor gun sports and target practice, but this facility finally reached a point that closure was the only good option.”

U.S. Forest Service officials plan to renovate the shooting range.

“It’s unfortunate that vandalism resulted in this site’s closure, along with the cost to renovate and restore,” said Nedlo. “Once the shooting range is renovated and reopened, I hope everyone will respect the facility and help us promote responsible shooting for future generations to enjoy.”

The range will be renovated and Nedlo says it’ll be a significant price to do everything they’re looking to do.

"So the renovation we're looking at we're going to spend probably 20 to 30 thousand dollars, and if you add employee pay in that you could easily double that number.” Said Nedlo.

The range will have an awning among other things. They hope to have it back open sometime this fall.

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