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Give input on environmental assessment for Barry County shooting range development

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 the DNR's proposed shooting range in Barry County. The draft environmental assessment evaluates the options considered for developing a shooting range and their effects on area natural resources. Public comments will be accepted for a 30-day period, ending Jan. 27.

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

The site of the proposed shooting range project, whose purpose is to develop a new, outdoor, public range on property within the DNR's Barry State Game Area, is along the south side of Chief Noonday Road in Section 18 of Rutland Township. 

The development of a new public range will enable the DNR to close a popular, unofficial target shooting location that is not suitable for public use. The range will meet or exceed Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility 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 proposed project will consist of creating:

  • An access drive, parking and accessible pathways that connect all range facilities.
  • Shooting structures for safety, sound abatement and weather protection.
  • Downrange berms (with ricochet baffles), side berms and surface water management through earthwork activity.
  • Educational and interpretive signage.

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

The draft environmental assessment (dated Dec. 17, 2021) is available online at Michigan.gov/ShootingRanges under "Important shooting range updates."

Additional information on funding for and design of the range is available from DNR shooting range specialist Lori Burford, at 989-600-9114. Written comments or questions may be sent to Burford via email at BurfordL@Michigan.gov. Comments should be received no later than Jan. 27.

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. Connect with our Facebook page at Facebook.com/USFWSMidwest, follow our tweets at Twitter.com/USFWSMidwest, watch our YouTube Channel at Youtube.com/USFWS and download photos from our Flickr page at Flickr.com/photos/USFWSMidwest.

Contact: Lori Burford, 989-600-9114