• forest cutouts
  • Carefully managed and sustainable forests are essential to Michigan's wildlife.

    That’s why we take care to keep our forests healthy and abundant – so there is a balance between the needs of the forest and the needs of all that depend on it. 

Sustainable Forests and Wildlife Management

Trees and forests provide countless benefits for people and wildlife. They improve our health, provide places to play and explore, grow the renewable resources we need and create homes for wildlife. Learn a couple of ways how sustainable forest management benefits Michigan's wildlife and our communities in these videos.

Management Methods

  • Thinning

    We're harvesting certain trees to invigorate the health and quality of this forest. Carried out by trained professionals, these harvests are an essential part of how we manage the forest. Forest management activities are driven by sound science through regional and local management plans – ensuring that Michigan's forests will be around for years to come.

    Keep in mind that this look is temporary. These activities are essential steps toward creating a vigorous forest that provides wildlife habitat for a variety of species, improved recreation space and valuable wood products.

    Prescribed Burn

    Did you know that wildlife biologists and forest fire experts occasionally plan fires? This area has been burned intentionally by highly trained staff. These carefully controlled fires, called prescribed burns, are an essential part of how we manage the landscape. Regional and local management plans drive these scientifically sound management practices.

    Prescribed burns control invasive species, produce critical wildlife habitat and generate conditions for Michigan's natural communities to thrive. Prescribed burns help to prevent dangerous and damaging wildfires by removing the natural materials that could fuel unintentional fires.

    Tree Harvest

    Harvesting mature trees generates space and sunlight for new trees to grow. We also can improve the overall forest health by removing diseased trees. The new forest provides high-quality wildlife habitat, improved recreation space and valuable wood products.

    Keep in mind that this look is temporary. Carried out by trained professionals, these harvests are an essential part of how we manage the forest. Forest management activities are driven by sound science through regional and local management plans – ensuring that Michigan's forests will be around for years to come.

Guiding Documents for Management Decisions

We plan and implement forest management practices based on science to ensure healthy forests and wildlife will be available for future generations. Wildlife and Forestry staff also use the following documents as guidance during the planning and implementation phases of forest management for wildlife: