DNR to announce details for Marquette Range, the first DNR-managed shooting range in the UP

What’s happening: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is close to pulling the trigger on building the first DNR-managed shooting range in the Upper Peninsula. And for those looking forward to learning more about the project, the DNR has scheduled an open house from 3 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Richmond Township Hall in Palmer.

What it is: The Marquette Range, as it’s being called now, will be built on property that the DNR has leased from Cleveland Cliffs, which is located in Richmond Township. The site is accessible off Marquette County Road 480, from the Goose Lake Access Road. The project is the culmination of several years of preparation and public input sessions, DNR officials say. The first such public input session was held in 2017.

Why it’s important: Development of the Marquette Range will lead to the DNR and Cleveland Cliffs shutting down what the DNR calls “an informal, makeshift target shooting location that, though popular, is not suitable for public use.” The new range will allow hunters and recreational shooters to practice their sport safely, and potentially in the cold weather months, as well. The new range will also meet Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility guidelines.

What they’re saying: “We’re excited to see this project moving into the final stages, because everyone has put in a lot of time and effort to get it right for the community and for our customers,” says Lori Burford, DNR shooting range specialist. “This will be the first DNR-managed shooting range in the Upper Peninsula, available to anyone who wants to enjoy shooting sports.”