Natural Resources at a Glance

DNR Mission
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural resources for current and future generations.

Michigan DNR and Natural Resource Facts:

  • Approximately 1,400 permanent employees and more than 1,600 seasonal employees implement over 70 programs under the supervision of DNR Director Keith Creagh and his management team.

Lakes, Rivers and Fish

  • Michigan has 11,000 inland lakes.
  • Michigan has 3,000 miles of freshwater shoreline-more than any other state in the nation.
  • Michigan has more total shoreline than any state except Alaska.
  • Michigan has tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams.
  • In Michigan, you're never more than six miles from great fishing.
  • The DNR has six fish hatcheries, which produce more than 700,000 pounds of fish every year. Forty percent of all recreational fishing in Michigan depends on stocked fish, including 70% of the Great Lakes trout and salmon fishery.


  • Michigan's two scenic peninsulas provide 8 million acres of public hunting land, including 4.5 million acres managed by DNR.
  • The DNR leases several thousand acres of farmland in southern Michigan for public hunting and 2.2 million acres of private forestland in northern Michigan, enrolled as commercial forests, provide even more hunting access.
  • The DNR manages 400,000 acres in more than 70 state wildlife areas, most in southern Michigan.
  • The DNR manages and protects 400 species of animals, including the birds and mammals that sustain our rich hunting heritage and nongame wildlife, including threatened and endangered species.
  • More than 60% of Michigan's residents are actively involved in viewing and photographing wildlife.

Parks and Recreation

  • In Michigan, you are never more than an hour's drive from a state park or recreation area.
  • The DNR maintains 15 Great Lakes Harbors of Refuge and 750 public launch sites.
  • Michigan has more than 931,000 registered watercraft (3rd in the nation) and more than 390,000 registered snowmobiles (more than any other state).
  • Michigan has more than 1,300 public boat launching sites.
  • Michigan is a leader in rails-to-trails, maintaining more than 6,200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails.
  • Michigan's 145 state forest campgrounds offer 3,000 rustic campsites.

Forest, Mineral and Fire Management

  • Widely differing forest cover and ownership patterns throughout Michigan provide unique management challenges and opportunities. For example, 90% of our population resides in southern Michigan, while 90% of the Upper Peninsula is forested.
  • In addition to managing 12% of the state's total land area, the DNR manages 6 million acres of mineral estate and leases rights to explore for oil and gas.
  • Nearly 50,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in Michigan-about 12,000 are active.