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

A parcel of land owned by the Marquette County Road Commission alongside US 480 in Sands Township was recommended to be re-zoned from an industrial to an open identification , however, that request was denied.

Sands Township had held a board meeting on April 17th to make a decision, but that issue was tabled, and pushed back to Tuesday night’s agenda. Public discussion was heard for people to explain their concerns on the issue. One important factor that was being considered was 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. Others argued that the concept of a shooting range was a positive one, but the location was unappealing for a variety of reasons.

“The reason from the last meeting that we decided to table it to this meeting was that we, first of all, wanted more information on the sound study that was performed by the DNR,” said interim Board President, Shelley Brauer. “It also gave us time to review everything we feel is necessary to make a good decision for the township and the public.”

The project would have been an investment of $800,000 to one million dollars for the community. The DNR and the Sands Township Board agree that the discussion needs to continue, as a public shooting range may be beneficial to the area.