- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources’ board is set to consider starting the process to establish a new public shooting range in Columbia County.

Tensions have been mounting between gun enthusiasts and county residents. Shooters looking for a free place to target practice have transformed the parking lots at the Swan Lake and French Creek wildlife areas into makeshift ranges, angering neighbors.

The DNR has proposed amending the master plan for agency lands in the county to potentially allow for construction of a public range. The agency plans to ask its board for permission to begin the process at a meeting Oct. 29 in Madison.

The DNR estimates as many as 35 ranges currently exist on public land but only five are located in the southeastern third of the state.

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