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Bay County residents heatedly voice concerns about hunting ground expansion

Residents in Bay County spoke out Monday night about a proposal that has been in the works for almost a decade. (WEYI)

Residents in Bay County spoke out Monday night about a proposal that has been in the works for almost a decade.

The state wants to expand hunting grounds in the Tobico Marsh Area but some believe this it's a dangerous idea.

Tempers flared as residents responded to the Department of Natural Resources' proposal to turn hundreds of acres of Tobico Marsh Area into shared hunting grounds.

For the past ten years, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has considered the expansion for many reasons, one of them being to maintain the wildlife population, but the people who live and frequent the trails where hunting would be allowed have concerns.

"An errant bullet isn’t going know whether it’s an animal or not, so it's just a huge safety problem that we're up against,” said David Perez.

And the Bay County Board of Commissioners and county executive agree.

"I just think trying to mix the use of this area would potentially cause a danger and what I am worried about is the perception of the public that it’s no longer safe to use the rail trail system,” said Jim Barcia.

The DNR says shared recreational areas are common throughout the state and completely safe.

While a small group was in support of the expansion, most residents aren't on board.

The DNR will meet with the Natural Resources Commission and could vote on this proposal later this week.

RELATED LINK:

People concerned about hunting expansion at Bay City Recreation Area

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