DNR input sought on forest, timber and wildfire management

Recognizing the importance of ongoing, meaningful conversation about the health and sustainability of Michigan’s world-class forest resources, the Department of Natural Resources today announced that officials from its Forest Resources Division will offer a series of “forest community” information meetings during May and June.

The DNR sees these meetings – in Gaylord, Iron Mountain, Newberry and Lansing – as a valuable opportunity to exchange ideas with businesses and organizations that have an interest in Michigan’s timber and wildfire management. Meetings are set for the following dates and locations (all times are local):

Wednesday, May 16, in Gaylord – Treetops Resort, 3962 Wilkinson Road, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, June 5, in Iron Mountain – Recreation Lanes, 1555 North Stevenson Ave., 6 p.m.

Wednesday, June 6, in Newberry – America’s Best Hotel, 12956 State Route M-28, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, June 13, in Lansing – Ramada Inn Convention Center, 7501 W. Saginaw, 6 p.m.

Meeting attendees will receive updates on a variety of Forest Resources Division topics, including: forest ownership; the division budget; timber management on state forest lands; the wildfire program; eco-region plans; forest roads; and private land management, including the Commercial Forest and Qualified Forest programs.

Bill O’Neill, acting chief of the Forest Resources Division, said the DNR has, over the last year, made significant, strategic changes to its forest and wildfire programs – all designed to better leverage staff expertise, improve communication inside and outside of the division, and achieve long-term management solutions that cut across all interest groups to speak to everyone’s goals.

“We are taking this show on the road, to meet our stakeholders where they live and work,” O’Neill said. “Many people – within the DNR, in private industry and in our communities – care passionately about the health and viability of Michigan’s forest resources and programs. We’re looking forward to working more closely with all of these groups, and these public meetings are a great next step.”

Anyone with questions about the meetings or accommodations or who would like to suggest other topics for discussion should contact Miss Kim Korbecki of the Forest Resources Division at 517-373-1246 or korbeckik@michigan.gov.