Public input sought on draft environmental assessment for DNR shooting range in Marquette County

Contact: Lori Burford, 989-600-9114 or John Pepin, 906-250-7260
Agency: Natural Resources

Oct. 20, 2021

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment for development of a proposed DNR shooting range in Richmond Township.

The draft environmental assessment evaluates the variety of options considered and impacts to natural resources. Public comments will be accepted for a 30-day period, which ends Nov. 20, 2021.

The DNR has asked that the Fish and Wildlife Service issue a modification to a statewide shooting range grant to approve construction of an outdoor shooting range in Marquette County.

The proposed shooting range project will consist of:

  • An access drive, parking and accessible pathways that connect all range facilities.
  • Installation of two rustic vault toilets.
  • Shooting structures for safety, sound abatement and weather protection.
  • Earthwork activity to create down-range berms (with ricochet baffles), side berms and surface water management.
  • Educational and interpretive signage.

The purpose of the project is to develop a new, outdoor, public range on property leased by the DNR. The range site is in Richmond Township and is accessible from the Goose Lake Access Road.

Developing this new, public range will enable the DNR to close a popular, informal target shooting location that is not suitable for public use. The new range will meet or exceed Americans with Disabilities Act requirements, provide hunters the opportunity to increase firearm proficiency and safety,  and allow recreational shooters to practice their sport in a safe, accommodating area that expands use potential beyond the summer months.

The purpose of the environmental assessment document is to look at the feasibility and potential for environmental consequences associated with the alternatives considered. The assessment was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act that applies to the actions of all federal agencies. This project is proposed by the DNR for funding through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The draft environmental assessment (dated Feb. 10, 2021) is available on the DNR website.

Additional information on funding and design of the range may be obtained from Lori Burford, DNR shooting range specialist, at 989-600-9114. Written comments or questions may be sent to Ms. Burford via email at BurfordL@michigan.gov. Comments should be received no later than Nov. 20, 2021.

Comments will be provided to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which will then decide on whether to approve the environmental assessment and modification request. If approved, the DNR anticipates project construction could begin late this fall.

For more information on the DNR's shooting ranges, visit Michigan.gov/ShootingRanges.

About the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit FWS.gov.

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