Public Access on Commercial Forest (CF) Lands
Over 2.2 million acres of privately owned forests enrolled in the CF program are accessible by foot to the public for fishing and hunting. Use of motorized vehicles for fishing and hunting access is at the landowner's discretion. The CF lands are not posted or signed as commercial forests and may be fenced and/or gated. The presence of a fence or gate does not prohibit public access to CF lands for fishing or hunting. The owner may restrict public access during periods of active commercial logging to ensure public safety.
Other than foot access for the acts of hunting, trapping or fishing, activities such as (but not limited to) camping, leaving anything unattended (e.g. blinds, refuse, etc.), and damaging or injuring vegetation (e.g. cutting/ nailing), require the landowner's permission. Commercial activity on CF lands is not allowed for any purpose other than forestry or oil and gas extraction. Legal land descriptions of lands listed in this program are available on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/gohunt under "Where Can I Hunt?" If you have questions about this program or specific CF lands, contact the nearest DNR office or DNR Forest Resources Division, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909, or call 517-284-5849.
Use CF Lands with Respect
Although the general public has a right to fish and hunt on CF lands, the property is privately owned (though privately owned, public land antlerless licenses are required to hunt CFL properties) and subject to normal private property rights. Unless you have permission of the property owner, the right to fish and hunt on the land does not extend to associated activities such as, but not limited to, the following:
- Cutting shooting lanes, or cutting or destroying brush, trees or other plants for any purpose.
- Using nails, bolts, wire, tree steps or other material or activities which harm, lessen or destroy the value of trees, or create a potentially hazardous wood-harvesting condition.
- Temporarily or permanently abandoning of property, including tree stands or other hunting apparatus.
- Constructing blinds or constructing or placing other structures, except for gathering dead materials found on the ground.
- Target shooting or sighting-in firearms.
- Using ORVs or other vehicles on private property. If vehicles are allowed by the property owner, care should be taken to avoid blocking access to roads or parking areas.
- A person engaging in an activity not allowed by a property owner may be criminally or civilly liable, or both.