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An aerial view of the Military Reserve identifying the new location of the archery range.

BOISE — The Boise Parks and Recreation Commission opted to keep an archery range within the Military Reserve, and the decision will now go to City Council.

The commission was considering four potential alternate locations after the city opted to install a bike skills park and move the dog park at the Military Reserve to the current location of the archery range.

“It’s necessitated to be relocated based on the bike skills park and the larger flood basin in the military reserve,” said Trevor Kesner, a parks planner for the city of Boise.

The range will move to the police gun range near a gravel parking lot at the end of Mountain Cove Road, which runs through the main stretch of the reserve.

The new range will include 80-yard targets and a lane for shooting broadhead arrows, which the current range does not allow.

Kesner said the city completed a study to evaluate the best place for the range to move. The options were the police shooting range, which is still being used in a limited capacity, a site near the old veterans cemetery in the reserve, a site in Veterans Memorial Park off State Street, and an undeveloped area of Murgoitio Park on the city’s southwest side, Kesner said.

“We actually worked with the archery community in evaluating those sites,” he said.

While the site at the police gun range was identified as the best possible option, there is lead contamination from bullets that needs to be addressed.

Kesner said the process to mitigate lead in the area is underway, and there have been efforts in the past to limit the lead contamination around the range.

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“There was a pretty intensive remediation that was made, probably about a year ago,” he said.

Additionally, use of the gun range has slowed, as there is another site police use more frequently for shooting practice.

“The police would continue to use the other portion of this site as an active shooting range, but they would only be up there on an intermittent basis,” he said.

Parks and Recreation Director Doug Holloway said police are “very much on board.”

“They have assured us that the new range is their preferred location,” he said.

The location received endorsement from a number of citizens who signed up to testify, including a representative of the Boise Heights Neighborhood Association.

“We are not archers, most of us, who are not involved,” said Kay Hummel, who represented the neighborhood association.

She said she is glad the range is staying within the Military Reserve, but the other location within the reserve was far less preferable.

“Our neighborhood had three concerns. The closeness of that site to the trail, fire and parking,” Hummel said.

Xavier Ward covers Ada County for The Idaho Press. You can follow him on Twitter at @XavierAWard.

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