Bill to allow recreational uses in county forests

LANSING, Mich.—A bill that would allow municipal forestland acquired from the Michigan Deptartment of Natural Resources (DNR), such as county forests, to be used for recreational purposes in addition to being managed for timber has been signed by Gov. Rick Snyder.


“Local residents and elected officials from Ontonagon County brought forward a good suggestion to fix the law to ensure that local communities can choose to allow recreation in their local forests as a way to promote the use and enjoyment of our natural resources,” said Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, sponsor of Senate Bill 1031.


As Ontonagon County was developing their county recreational plan and wanted to allow multi-use trails in county forests, they found that the state law did not allow trails on the county forestland that was obtained from the DNR.


“We need to make Michigan, and the U.P. in particular, the destination for multi-recreational trail use.  This change is a small step in that direction as it will lead to more recreation opportunities including multi-use trails for our residents and visitors to use to enjoy the outdoors,” Casperson said.