Public comment sought on draft environmental assessment for shooting range in Ontonagon County

Contact: Lori Burford, 989-600-9114 or John Pepin, 906-228-6561 (media)

March 18, 2021

Comment deadline set for April 18

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 a proposed indoor public shooting range in Ontonagon County.

The purpose of the project is to develop a new shooting range and meeting facility at the existing Lake Superior Sportsman's Club indoor-outdoor range location, which is situated along M-64, west of Ontonagon and east of Silver City.

The current indoor facility is no longer suitable for public use.

"The property is DNR-managed public land and developing a new, indoor facility that goes above and beyond Americans with Disabilities Act requirements provides hunters with the opportunity to increase firearm proficiency and safety and allow recreational shooters to practice their sport in a safe, accommodating, indoor environment that expands use potential beyond the summer months," said Lori Burford, DNR shooting range specialist.

The purpose of the environmental assessment is to look at the feasibility and potential for environmental consequences associated with the development alternatives considered.

The DNR has asked the Fish and Wildlife Service to issue a modification to a Statewide Shooting Range Grant to approve the construction of the new facility.

Public comments will be accepted for a 30-day period, which ends April 18, 2021. Written comments or questions may be sent to Burford via email at

The proposed shooting range project will consist of:

  • Renovating an existing access drive.
  • Installing a new septic system, water lines and a universally designed concrete pathway that extends from the parking area to the building.
  • Constructing a new gravel parking area with two van-accessible, concrete parking spaces.
  • Constructing a new, indoor, six-lane shooting range, including three lanes that will be ADA compliant.
  • Building a new meeting space-clubhouse that will be attached to the indoor shooting range to include: Meeting space for 40 people, indoor restrooms, a closed office, storage, a warming kitchen, range viewing area and outdoor landscaping and informational panels.

The draft environmental assessment was prepared in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act, which applies to the actions of all federal agencies. This project is proposed by the Michigan DNR for funding through the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The draft environmental assessment is available for review on the DNR website.

In addition, copies of the draft environmental assessment or more information on funding for the range project and design may be obtained from Lori Burford, DNR shooting range specialist at 989-600-9114. Written comments or questions may be sent to Burford via email at by April 18, 2021.