Michigan citizens own 4.6 million acres of land. That land is managed by the Department of Natural Resources. DNR’s job is to protect that land for you and provide quality outdoor recreational opportunities as well as foster regional economic growth.
In working to efficiently do their job the Michigan DNR abides by an open book, transparency policy. Today they opened their books, so to speak and showcased to the public their plans for 2016 and welcomed input. Even corrections if need be.
Bryan Reynolds of Marquette County attended the open house and had this to say, “The state does a real good job but sometimes you can find mistakes and I found one today. It was nobody’s fault, it was about some oak that wasn’t included in the compartment review as far as not cutting it and I got that changed and I am real happy about that.”
Public lands are the backbone of Michigan’s 17 billion tourism industry. Six of the 10 most popular tourist destinations are managed by the DNR so their yearly assessments are crucial to the state and it’s economy.
“The thing that we have seen this year is a lot more forest health problems,” said Jim Ferris, Unit Manager, DNR. “Spruce bugworm has become a pretty significant issue and so we have had to schedule some areas for harvest early because it is causing significant damage. Also we found dwarf missile toe which is native disease of black spruce. We’ve had to change our treatment areas on some black spruce.”
Each year, 10 percent of this multi-billion dollar Michigan industry is evaluated for treatment and timber harvest.