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Process for Camp Grayling expansion proposal outlined, public comment period extended

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is reviewing a proposal by Camp Grayling National Guard Training Center officials to expand low-impact training activities to approximately 162,000 additional acres of DNR-managed lands around the camp in northern Lower Michigan.

Public comments on the proposal are being accepted for consideration. To ensure people have ample time for review and feedback, the DNR has extended the original July 8 deadline and will accept comments throughout the review process. Use the interactive map to view proposed locations and make comments on areas of interest. Learn more about the proposal.

Public meeting Wednesday

A public meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, at Kirtland Community College, 4800 W. 4 Mile Road, Grayling. Attendees will learn about the proposal and have an opportunity to submit comments.

If the proposal review is approved to move forward, the next step in the process would be an environmental and parcel review. In any case, the DNR would maintain ownership and management authority of leased lands. Public access to state-managed lands including forest roads for ORV use would remain, and Au Sable and Manistee river access would remain open, with 1,500 feet between military activities and the water.

The review process for the proposal involves many steps, and an initial approval by the DNR director to move forward would begin an in-depth parcel review and environmental study process that follows.

Proposal review process

  1. DNR parcel review.
    • Staff review of proposed parcels to remove those purchased with restricted funds, campgrounds and parcels that do not allow leasing.
    • Review Kirtland’s warbler habitat with Kirtland’s warbler management team, with representation including the DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.
    • Use Conservation Viewer tool to remove parcels where training could have negative impacts on fish, wildlife and the natural landscape.
    • Maintain 1,500-foot buffer around lakes and rivers.
  2. DNR and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs review revised expansion footprint.
  3. Military conducts federal environmental analysis on new expansion footprint.
  4. DNR and DMVA determine lease limits and language for each expansion area.
  5. Public input opportunity on refined plan.
  6. DNR executive management review of revised draft.
  7. Final draft presented to DNR director and National Guard adjutant general for approval.

View an FAQ document provided to the DNR by Camp Grayling officials.