The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission runs a number of shooting ranges that are open to the public. The one closest to me is the Wayne E. Smith/Cold Mountain Shooting Range. It is in the shadow of Cold Mountain in the Pisgah National Forest. The range first opened in 2008.
When I first went to the Cold Mountain Shooting Range, it was an unmanned 100-yard range with a gravel parking lot. The only improvements were the berm, the covered shooting line, and concrete walkways to the 25, 50, and 100 yard lines. There was no range safety officer, no toilets, and no pistol only range.
This is what it looked like looking towards the shooting line.
Fast forward to yesterday. There are now dedicated rifle and pistol ranges. The rifle range has a series of steel strike baffles going out to 50 yards. Each of the five rifle stations is universally accessible and have sound suppression baffles.
More importantly, there is a range safety officer hired by the NCWRC there at all times. All first time users must go through a safety briefing. Everyone gets a shooting range pass which can be used at any of the ranges run by the commission. The RSO assigns shooting lanes, maintains control of the range, calls cease fire, etc. In other words, the often unsafe practices of the unmanned range are gone.
There is a range office and a pair of PortaJons.
There are now 10 Wildlife Resources Commission managed ranges, another one is under construction, and two more are proposed.
I think the Wildlife Resources Commission should be applauded for how they have continually upgraded this range as well as the other ones. It takes money and it appears they have spent it wisely. Given most of these ranges are free, that money has come from licenses and Pittman-Robertson monies.