DNR herbicide application underway at northern Lower Peninsula sites

Contact: Scott Throop, 231-775-9727, ext. 6041; or Bill Sterrett, 231-920-4425
Agency: Natural Resources

Sept. 9, 2019

a grouping of red pines

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is applying herbicide treatments over the next few weeks at sites across the northern Lower Peninsula.

The spraying, which will be done from the ground as well as by helicopter, will affect only a very small percentage of state-managed land. The herbicide helps provide favorable conditions for red pine tree plantings by discouraging the growth of other plants.

Spraying already has occurred or will occur in the following counties: Benzie, Clare, Crawford, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Manistee, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Otsego, Roscommon and Wexford.

“We’ll be wrapped up by October,” said Bill Sterrett, western Lower Peninsula supervisor for the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “We have to do the spraying while the competing plants are still in the growing season.”

The staff who apply these herbicides are licensed and trained in their safe use. All herbicides used by the DNR are approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Before spraying starts, signs are posted at each affected site and at every road or recreation trail that provides an access point to the treatment area.

In areas where there are adjacent private lands, the DNR attempts to contact landowners in advance of spraying. Signs will remain in place at spraying sites for at least 48 hours after herbicide application.

Learn more about how the DNR takes care of state forests at Michigan.gov/Forestry.