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New DNR shooting range in Marquette County to open Oct. 11

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources plans to open its long-awaited $2 million public shooting range in Marquette County Oct. 11.

“The builders are still putting finishing touches on the facility and the shooting range remains closed until Oct. 11,” said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. “In the meantime, shooting is prohibited at the range site and former gravel pit shooting areas nearby have been cleaned up and closed.”

With the help of the Michigan National Guard, 142 tons of trash and debris were removed from those illegal shooting sites.

“We have a significant concern for safety at the developing range site and the surrounding areas,” Pepin said. “We have workers in the area and shooting should not be taking place until the range is opened.”

The range is in Richmond Township, west of Marquette, off Marquette County Road 480, along the Goose Lake boating access site road.

The all-accessible shooting range will offer target shooting up to 400 yards, as well as archery and sporting clay shooting. Shooters will need to bring their own targets.

The public shooting range – built on 25 acres owned by the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Co. – will be dedicated to Michigan Conservation Officer Emil Skoglund and Game Warden Arvid Erickson who were murdered by an ex-convict with a pistol not far from the location in September 1926.

A dedication and ribbon-cutting event open to the public will be held at the range at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 10. The hours of the shooting range will be 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever is earlier.

“We are nearing the opening of the Skoglund-Erickson Shooting Range thanks to the help of the public and our many great partners in this effort,” said Stacy Welling-Haughey, DNR Upper Peninsula field deputy. “We especially thank Richmond Township.”

The firing range will meet National Rifle Association and Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines and offer a safe, accessible shooting opportunity for residents and visitors in Marquette County.

In addition, the range will employ state-of-the-art sound control measures and environmental containment features.

Funding for the range is being provided through a federal grant administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and supplemented by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

DNR staffers have been working with local units of government, residents and non-government partners to consider over a dozen potential shooting range locations in Marquette County since 2013.

Before that, DNR plans for a range in this area date back to 1993.

For more information on the DNR’s public shooting ranges in Michigan, visit the DNR’s webpage at: