Sales and Removal of Timber from State Forests
Forests are a renewable resource capable of providing a continuing supply of products and services. All forests provide some of these products and services but a managed forest produces the greatest amount and, very importantly, will continue to do this indefinitely if correctly managed.
The timber-based industry employs 60,000 full-time workers and provides a substantial contribution to Michigan's economy. Approximately 20% of the raw material used by this industry comes from state forest land. Thus, sale of timber from state forests contributes substantially to the timber based industry and the welfare of all citizens of Michigan.
In addition, management of the state forests means increasing habitat and food for wildlife, notably deer and grouse; reduction of fire hazards; and a continuing setting for camping, hiking, snowmobiling, berry picking and other activities dependent upon forest land in various stages of growth.
Most timber removals from state forests can be grouped into three categories: Commercial Sales, Fuelwood Permits, and Non-Commercial Cultural treatments. Except where timber is needed for department projects, commercial sales are used to the extent possible for timber disposal. If the timber has no value or a value of less than $10, it may be removed through Fuelwood Permits, and if timber removal is not possible through either of the first two methods, a noncommercial cutting contract may be issued or crews hired to accomplish the needed work. A fourth category of timber removals exists: miscellaneous use permits, leases and easements. This includes clearing for oil wells, powerlines, roadways, etc.
State forest timber is prescribed for removal in accordance with management plans developed and approved at compartment reviews. Harvest volumes are balanced for continuous yield on an area control basis through Operations Inventory procedures.