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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 and cultural 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 Scott Bowen and his management team.

Lakes, Rivers and Fish

  • Michigan is home to 10,899 inland lakes (five acres or more).
  • Michigan has 3,300 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, the longest U.S. freshwater coastline.
  • Michigan has more total shoreline than any state except Alaska.
  • Michigan has 52,053 miles of streams.
  • In Michigan you're never more than 6 miles from a body of water or 85 miles from a Great Lake - which means 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. Recreational fishing in Michigan is supported by stocked fish, with more than 50% of the Great Lakes trout and salmon fishery coming from stocked fish.


  • 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’re never more than a half-hour away from a state park, state forest campground or state trail system.
  • Michigan is home to 82 state-sponsored harbors along the Great Lakes. 
  • Michigan has more than 1,300 public boat launching sites.
  • Michigan has more than 900,000 registered watercraft (3rd in the nation) and nearly 300,000 registered snowmobiles (more than any other state).
  • There are 4 million boating enthusiasts in the Great Lakes State.
  • Michigan is a leader in rails-to-trails and maintains 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 and develop state-owned mineral assets, including oil and gas, metallic minerals, and nonmetallic minerals.
  • Nearly 50,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in Michigan-about 12,000 are active.