The Michigan National Guard is exploring a possible expansion into Marquette County to help improve training for Upper Peninsula Guard members. The Guard met with county officials, the Department of Natural Resources, private companies and other various agencies last week to learn more about their options in identifying land compatible with both training needs and the local environment. The primary motive behind the expansion is to help increase Guard units’ readiness by providing an adequate training area closer than the current one at Camp Grayling. Marquette County is considered an ideal location for the expansion because seven of the eight U.P. armories are located either within the county or west of it. The Guard is adamant that it will run through the required checklists of environmental studies and when in doubt, it will not train in an area that poses any risk to the environment.