Protect your privately-owned forest from conversion to non-forest uses with the Forest Legacy Program. The goal is to protect important forest areas from development and fragmentation and ensure conservation of the important public benefits sustainable forests provide.
Here's how it works:
Participation is voluntary. A project can be:
A fee transaction (where the landowner sells the land to the state)
A conservation easement (where the landowner chooses to forever restrict certain uses of the land). Conservation easements will restrict development, limit uses that impact the conservation values, and require compliance with a management plan to protect soil, water, biological diversity, recreation, timber, and more.
Projects are selected for funding through a nationally competitive process. The process of nominating, applying, being selected, receiving funding and completing all requirements for a project can take several years and requires a high degree of commitment from landowners and partners. In addition to gains associated with the sale or donation of property rights, many landowners may also benefit from reduced taxes.
- Michigan’s Forest Legacy Program requires that the rights of public access (non-motorized access at a minimum) be conveyed to the state on all projects.
- If the conservation easement option is chosen, landowners must prepare and implement a resource management plan.
- While successful projects will result in the federal government funding up to 75 percent of project costs, 25 percent of the costs must come from private, state or local sources.
- For projects involving a conservation easement, the state requires that an endowment be established for long term monitoring and stewardship of the project.