Department of Natural Resources and local officials will be on hand Thursday, June 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the Blair Township Hall, located at 2121 County Road 633 in Grawn, to provide an update and take public comments on an area of state forest land commonly known as the Hoosier Valley Ranges.
These informal shooting ranges, located nine miles south of downtown Traverse City, have become popular with a full spectrum of gun enthusiasts, from those sighting in deer rifles to those recreationally shooting at exploding targets and using semi-automatic firearms. Local residents have voiced noise, safety, road congestion and litter concerns.
“Numerous citizen reports of shooting at all hours, explosions, trash dumping and roads being impacted all clearly indicate that we need to address the situation. The public meeting will allow us to hear directly from all those involved,” said Dave Lemmien, Traverse City unit manager with the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, tasked with land administration duties for the area. “I expect that we will hear from those who support keeping the area open to shooting as well as those who want to see the area closed.”
Several options for addressing public concerns are being considered, one of which is a set of interim rules for this area that may designate shooting hours, types of targets permissible and types of firearms allowed, among other things. These rules are only in the draft stage and will be presented for public comment. A long-term permanent solution is being sought, and will be discussed at the meeting.
For more information, please call the DNR Traverse City Field Office at 231-922-5280.