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DNR wants your input on plans for forest management

How do you use and enjoy Michigan’s nearly 4 million acres of state forests? How important are forests to you?

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants to know. The DNR’s Forest Resources Division is conducting a public survey to help guide creation of a new 10-year plan to keep state forests healthy and productive for generations.

Take the survey and offer your input. It will be available online until Oct. 23.

“It’s important for us to involve the public when making plans for the forest because the forests are here for people to use and enjoy,” said Jeff Stampfly, acting chief of the Forest Resources Division.

Periodic planning helps forestry professionals respond to factors that affect the forest such as climate change, invasive pests and fire. Plans made by the DNR always include using state forests for a variety of purposes, from recreation to wildlife habitat to timber harvests.

The State Forest Management Plan includes state forests in the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula and was last revised in 2013.

The DNR also is nearly finished with the federally required Forest Action Plan, which sets priorities for management on all 19.3 million acres of Michigan forest in state, federal, municipal, commercial and private ownership for the next decade. You can read a draft of the Forest Action Plan and the accompanying Landscape Assessment that informs it.

The public is also welcome to submit email comments regarding any part of the forest planning process to forestplancomments@michigan.gov. Comments specific to the Forest Action Plan are due by Oct. 12.

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