DNR weighs recommendations, makes decisions regarding state forests

MARQUETTE — Members of the DNR gathered in Marquette Friday to discuss recommendations and suggested changes regarding state forestland.

Every year the DNR conducts a walk-through of 10% of the state forest. They then compose recommendations and host an open house in which the public is invited to offer up comments and concerns of their own.

“It’s common that a recommendation will come to this meeting and, during the discussion, will get modified somewhat, but this is the decision-making process. Our land is divided up into compartments,” DNR Gwinn Forest Management Unit manager Jim Ferris said. “There are 20 compartments that we’re going to talk about today. That’s about 10% of the state forestland here in the Marquette County area.”

One of the big topics of discussion was the Blueberry Ridge ski trail. Members of the DNR and public spent a good part of the morning discussing the trails and trees in that area.

“We have a very active ski community here, and they are very interested, and, I would say, concerned, that whatever we do in that area doesn’t jeopardize the value of the ski trail,” Ferris said.

The decisions made at Friday’s meeting, as with each annual meeting, will be implemented on the ground two years from now.

To see what decisions were reached and to learn more about the forest plan, head over to michigan.gov/forestplan.