Department of Natural Resources officials have decided to keep a portion of the Hoosier Valley shooting range open with some restrictions.
More than 100 people attended a June 6 public meeting to express their concerns about the informal shooting range, located just 15 miles from downtown Traverse City.
The range has become popular with gun enthusiasts, but local residents have complained of noise and safety concerns, as well as road congestion.
A land use order from the DNR is designed to address those concerns.
Under the land use order, two areas will be specifically designated for target shooting in section 14 of Blair Township, but other areas such as sections 9, 14, and 15 will be off-limits to target shooting.
The order establishes shooting hours of Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever comes first. The shooting area will be closed on Sundays.
Violations of the order could result in civil infractions punishable fines.
The land use order becomes effective on Tuesday, July 2. The DNR calls it a "necessary interim measure to address the safety, noise and congestion concerns at these informal shooting areas."
"The DNR recognizes the desire of the public for opportunities to target shoot on state land in a safe and compatible way," said Bill O'Neill, chief of the DNR's Forest Resources Division. "We appreciate the constructive discussion and public input received thus far."
O'Neill said a long-term solution is still being evaluated.