LANSING, Mich.—A state initiative offering local communities and private landowners assistance in actively managing their forest acreage will include the Bay and Thumb regions, announced state Sen. Mike Green.
The initiative, developed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and local conservation districts, will help boost the sustainable management of Michigan’s forest lands by providing landowners with the expertise of professional foresters.
“Responsible management of Michigan’s plentiful forest land is very important to the preservation of our natural resources and the continued growth of related industries,” said Green, R-Mayville. “This initiative is an excellent example of a public-private partnership involving state government, local communities and private land owners voluntarily coming together to increase responsible forestry management in a way that saves taxpayer dollars without any additional government regulation or bureaucracy.”
There are currently 11 million acres of non-industrial private forest land in Michigan. A survey conducted by Michigan State University of those private forest landowners concluded that only 20 percent of that acreage is currently being actively managed for specific forestry outcomes.
“The health of our forest land, public and private, can be a real asset to both landowners and the economy,” Green said. “This program is geared towards strengthening that asset by making conservation district forestry consultants available to private landowners who already fund these programs with their tax dollars.”
Conservation districts will host workshops and field days to showcase forest management opportunities throughout Michigan. The Tuscola Conservation District has been included in the initiative and provides specialty advice to landowners in Arenac, Bay, Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola Counties. More information on the collaborative program can be found at www.michigan.gov/forestryassistanceprogram.
For more information on other assistance and stewardship programs that private landowners can consider in managing their forests, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/privateforestland. You can also contact Sen. Green’s office by visiting www.statesenatormikegreen.com or calling toll-free at 1-866-305-2131.