Economic Impact

Natural Resources Boost Michigan's Economy


  • Anglers boost the state's economy, spending $2.4 billion in trip-related expenses and equipment in 2011.
  • Michigan's angler participation rated fifth in the nation — 1.1 million licensed anglers in 2011 - drawing over $11.2 million in federal funds to fish and aquatic habitat conservation.

Forestry & Firefighting

  • Nearly 4 million acres of world-class state forest land (one of the largest dedicated acreages in the nation) provide more than 800,000 cords per year of certified wood — a resource vital to the forest products industry.
  • The forest industry annually generates $16.3 billion and employs 77,000 people in Michigan.
  • The state's nationally-recognized wildfire suppression efforts have, over the last five years, saved natural resources, homes and businesses — including more than 2,100 structures.

Hunting & Wildlife

  • Michigan hunters boost the state's economy, spending $2.3 billion on trip-related expenses and equipment in 2011. Wildlife-watching activities bring in $1.2 billion in trip-related expenses and equipment annually.
  • Michigan's hunter participation ranks third in the nation — 795,535 licensed hunters in 2011 — contributing nearly $28 million in federal funds to wildlife management and wildlife habitat restoration.


  • More than 1.3 million people every year visit the Michigan History Museum system, (which includes the flagship Michigan History Center in Lansing, as well as 11 regional museums), the Archives of Michigan and Mackinac State Historic Parks.


  • Michigan's 102 state parks and recreation areas annually welcome 22 million visitors.
  • In 2012, state parks saw 1 million camp nights for the first time since 2005, a significant milestone that can be attributed in part to the success of the innovative Recreation Passport that provides access to state parks, recreation areas, trailheads and boating access sites.
  • Michigan has 1,000-plus DNR-managed boat launches and more than 80 harbors that support the state's $4 billion boating industry.

Public Land

  • Michigan has the greatest volume of natural gas storage capacity of any state in the nation — more than 1 trillion cubic feet — some of it on public land that can contribute to the state's energy potential.
  • There have been a total of 1,977 Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund projects in Michigan's 83 counties during the 36-year life of the Trust Fund — 1,148 for acquisitions and 829 were for development.
  • The Trust Fund has pumped $965.5 million — nearly $1 billion — into local communities, leveraging local contributions, supporting regional economies and nurturing a better quality of life for citizens throughout Michigan.