Michigan has nearly four million acres of state forests, and the DNR has been working on new forest management plans for all of that land.
A five-month public comment period on the new plans ended in March, and now the DNR is holding meetings to discuss the comments that people made during that period.
One of those meetings took place in Marquette Wednesday afternoon.
“Certainly a big issue is, what kind of timber harvesting is occurring on state forest lands, and how does that support the local economies and the quality of life for many communities in the Upper Peninsula?”, DNR forest planning and inventory unit supervisor David Price said. “That seems to be first and foremost on many folks’ minds.”
Many people also bring up effects on wildlife habitat and tourism as concerns.
The DNR says it tries to manage the land in a way that balances many different potential uses.
“They’re intended to be plans that cover a ten-year period,” Price said. “They’re operational-level plans that could be revised sooner than that if we see the need to do so, and we very well may do so as we implement them and see how they’re working.”
The DNR has several more public meetings scheduled.
- May 16th at the Best Western Baraga Lakeside Inn in Baraga
- May 21st at the Garfield Township Hall in Traverse City
- May 22nd at BJ’s Restaurant in Gaylord
- May 30th at MDOT’s Aeronautic Room in Lansing
There’ll be a more formal session from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on each of those days, with facilitator-led discussions based on the topics most relevant to each area.
From 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., guests will have an opportunity for one-on-one discussions with DNR representatives.