Share your input about the DNR’s forest plans

MARQUETTE — Giving full insight into how Michigan’s 4.8 million acres of state land is managed is the goal of open houses the Department of Natural Resources hosts throughout areas of the state.  Each year, 10% of this multi-billion dollar Michigan industry is evaluated.

With plenty of DNR staff on hand, there was plenty of one-on-one time for residents to give their input.  Residents who stopped by the open house last week for Marquette and Alger Counties were curious as to the upcoming proposed changes.

“I came here to look over the maps and to see where the state is cutting and what it is cutting because that property belongs to all of us,” Marquette Township resident Bryan Reynolds said.  “I encourage everybody whether you hunt or not to come to these meeting.  Everybody calls it state land but it’s our land and people need to take a bigger interest in what is going on out there on our land.”

The DNR inspects trees for infections, treatment and harvesting.  Their suggestions are usually a few years out with plenty of time to make any needed alterations.

“Timber harvest changes the landscape, people want to know what you are doing, why are you doing it,” DNR Unit Manager Jim Ferris said. “The Blueberry Ridge ski pathway is embedded in a piece of state forest land and we manage the timber around that ski trail, so when we do timber management activities there, it get a  lot of attention and we have some proposals on the table that I expect people are going to be interested in.”

If you missed any of the open houses, you can view and send comments on the proposed changes on the DNR’s website.