SANDS TOWNSHIP — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is currently in the process of potentially opening the U.P’s first public shooting range.

A “pit parcel” location owned by the Marquette County Road Commission in Sands Township, and another, know by “Sands West” on DNR land, have been selected as the DNR’s most likely options from the original list brought up in years past.

Tuesday evening, Sands Township held a board meeting, to hear public discussion and to explain their concerns on the issue. One important factor that is being considered is noise pollution in the proposed area, and a specialist team from Florida was brought in for their expertise. Another goal for the Township is to eliminate illegal shooting in the area. The project would be an investment of $800,000 to one million dollars for the community.

“One of the reasons that we are picking and looking to develop this kind of road commission is unauthorized shooting activity on both the county road commission property, as well as some private land,” said DNR Shooting Range Specialist, Lorie Burford. “We’re looking to develop a new range – be able to focus and really streamline that target shooting and clean up some of the issues nearby.”

A re-zoning request to move forward with the proposed Road Commission land, and shift the space from an industrial to an open identification, was tabled for a future meeting date, May 1st, as the Sands Township Board needed more discussion time.

Stay with us for the latest information on this story as it becomes available.