Learn more about DNR state land review at virtual meetings Oct. 24 and 25
Public invited to offer feedback on proposed actions by Nov. 3
If you spend time hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, birding or otherwise enjoying public lands, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants your feedback.
In 2013, the DNR developed a public land strategy aimed at guiding public land ownership and maximizing benefits to residents and the state’s natural resources. As part of its multiyear state land review process, the DNR has completed review of the ninth and final group of parcels and is now determining which ones best meet its goal of delivering broad public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities, while protecting natural and cultural resources on those lands.
The state land review covers approximately 240,000 acres of public land statewide to determine their contributions to meeting the DNR’s mission. Those 240,000 acres include parcels that are 200 acres or smaller in size, or difficult to manage due to irregular shape, resulting in a significant shared private-public boundary.
The nearly 4,000 acres of land throughout the state reviewed in this ninth and final group were not captured in previous reviews due to their small size or the need for additional research to verify the accuracy of the parcel location or ownership.
The public is invited to share input on the outcomes of that review Oct. 24 and 25 during virtual meetings.
Virtual public meetings Oct. 24, 25
The DNR is hosting two virtual public meetings Tuesday, Oct. 24, and Wednesday, Oct. 25, to give people the opportunity to learn more about the state land review process and parcels currently under review.
You don’t need Microsoft Teams on your computer or smart device to join, but please note that each link is specific to its meeting date and time and will not be live or accessible until each meeting is “opened” by the moderator. Anyone without access to a computer may call in using the phone number provided.
- 2 p.m. (Eastern) Tuesday, Oct. 24
- Join Microsoft Teams meeting Or call (for audio only) +1 248-509-0316, 282107743# Conference ID: 282 107 743#
- 6 p.m. (Eastern) Wednesday, Oct. 25
- Join Microsoft Teams meeting Or call (for audio only) +1 248-509-0316, 662784152# Conference ID: 662 784 152#
People unable to participate can view a recording of the public meeting presentation, available on the DNR's state land review webpage, along with additional updates that will be posted throughout the process.
Group 9 process
“We set out to carefully evaluate the nearly 4,000 acres set for review, and then either retain them as being important to the DNR mission, protect them through conservation partners, trade to consolidate state ownership or make them available for sale to the public through auction,” said Scott Whitcomb, director of the DNR’s Office of Public Lands.
It’s a long-term, detailed process that Whitcomb said helps ensure the DNR is focused on the lands with the greatest conservation, recreation and resource management potential on behalf of Michigan residents.
“We are now at a point in the review of the ninth group of parcels where the next important step is to hear from the public – the people who know these local areas and use them in a variety of ways – about their ideas on the initial recommendations,” Whitcomb said. “We’ve had a great response from earlier public reviews and, using local knowledge of the areas, made several corrections to our maps and ownership records, underscoring how important it is to have this input.”
The classification label for each parcel may be based, in part, on the natural or cultural resources present on the land; how the land is used, accessed or managed; and whether the land contributes to the department’s mission. The DNR’s initial recommended classifications (by total number of parcels) for the public land in this review break down as follows:
- Retain (50.6%).
- Offer to alternate conservation partner (4.3%).
- Exchange (1.1%).
- Dispose through public auction (44%).