Shooting range possible for county

MARQUETTE — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host a public meeting later this month to discuss potential development of a new state shooting range in Marquette County.

The meeting will take place at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Sands Township Hall, 987 M-553. The hall is about one-tenth of a mile south of the intersection of M-553 and Marquette County Road 480.

The DNR is looking forward to sharing the list of potential range locations that staff has been developing, getting public comment related to those locations and hearing about other possible sites, said Lori Burford, DNR shooting range analyst at the Roscommon Customer Service Center.

The public meeting to share potential range locations and site selection is one of the first steps in a development process that might take several years to complete, she said.

Right now there is no public shooting range in Marquette County or even the Upper Peninsula.

“There are couple sportsmen’s ranges, like the Negaunee Rod and Gun Club, but you have to be a member,” Burford said.

The number of target shooters in Michigan is increasing, she said.

“So, it’s a recreational opportunity we’re looking forward to improving for folks,” said Burford, who said local DNR staff also has been working with sportsmen’s clubs to see what they have in the way of shooting facilities.

Burford said after a site is identified, hopefully the range’s design will be completed within three to six months.

Environmental and neighborhood concerns also have to be considered.

“Those things take time and effort,” Burford said.

Staff is looking at a two-year completion date if all goes well, she said.

For more information about the meeting, contact Burford at 989-600-9114. Anyone with disabilities attending the meeting who will need accommodations should also contact Burford at least five days before the meeting.

To find out more about state shooting ranges in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/shootingranges.