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Michigan DNR: Take part in state forest planning process

This summer and fall, recommendations for 2023 are being presented.
Michigan DNR Forest Management Units in the Upper Peninsula.
Michigan DNR Forest Management Units in the Upper Peninsula.(Michigan DNR/WLUC)
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 11:53 AM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is tasked with responsibly managing 3.9 million acres of state forest land using such techniques as timber harvests, planting and prescribed burns to keep forests thriving and healthy.

To make the work more efficient and easier to oversee, the DNR divides those millions of acres into 15 forest management units, which are further divided into compartments. Those are blocks of land generally 1 to 3 square miles (600 to 1,800 acres) in size.

Management activity in each forest management unit is finalized two years in advance. This summer and fall, recommendations for 2023 are being presented.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 open houses were held in a virtual format, with monthlong comment periods. At this time, open houses planned for 2021 will be virtual as well, with input invited by email, phone or mail during the designated time frame. This gives people the opportunity to offer input to foresters, wildlife biologists and other DNR professionals regarding forest plans.

“Our open house and compartment review meetings are an easy, informative way to learn about what’s happening in state forests and what actions are being proposed to keep these lands thriving,” said Jeff Stampfly, DNR Forest Resources Division chief. “If you have an interest in state forest lands in your area, we want to hear from you.”

After the end of each comment period, a public compartment review meeting will take place, where foresters present the DNR’s final decisions on management activities. The DNR reviews 10% of the state forest annually. That equates to about 400,000 acres or roughly 220 compartments.

For more information, including a link to the interactive forest map showing details of all forest management activities, visit Michigan.gov/ForestInput.

Below are the comment periods taking place in May and the related compartment reviews. Contact the area unit manager to make arrangements to view the compartment review meeting online or listen over the phone.

Here is a list of those happening in Upper Michigan regions:

  • Baraga: Comments April 20-May 20; compartment review is June 10. Contact Brad Carlson, 906-201-4688.
  • Gaylord: Comments May 17-June 16; compartment review is July 15. Contact Lucas Merrick, 989-732-3541, ext. 5440.

To see a full comment schedule, including for six other Upper Michigan Forest Management Units, click here.

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