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Nearly 100 parcels of state-managed land available via online auctions in August, September

Lake frontage, river frontage and vacant forested acreage surrounded by private ownership are just some of the 95 parcels available in the next round of surplus land auctions from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Surplus land sales are a regular part of the DNR’s strategy to manage 4.6 million acres of public land owned by the people of Michigan.

Land is available in a dozen counties throughout the Lower and Upper peninsulas: Alger, Allegan, Chippewa, Dickinson, Iosco, Lake, Kent, Mackinac, Midland, Montcalm, Oscoda and Presque Isle. Several of the largest parcels are in Alger, Chippewa, Dickinson, Iosco, Midland, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties, while lakefront and riverfront parcels are in Allegan, Chippewa, Iosco, Lake, Montcalm and Presque Isle counties.

Nine online auctions will feature available land parcels by county:

  • Aug. 4 – Lake County.
  • Aug. 10 – Montcalm County.
  • Aug. 15 – Alger, Chippewa and Mackinac counties.
  • Aug. 16 – Dickinson County.
  • Aug. 22 – Oscoda County.
  • Aug. 23 – Presque Isle County.
  • Aug. 29 – Allegan and Kent counties.
  • Sept. 6 – Midland County.
  • Sept. 7 – Iosco County.

“Offering state-managed public lands at auction is the final step of a lengthy, ongoing land review process, built on a conservation framework, that ensures these lands’ best use for the benefit of Michigan residents, visitors and natural resources,” said Scott Whitcomb, acting DNR deputy director.

“Many of the sale parcels are forested or have road frontage, but are better suited for private ownership for a number of reasons,” Whitcomb said. “Much of the land is isolated from other DNR-managed property, and that can create management challenges. Other parcels are included for auction because they offer limited public opportunities for quality outdoor recreation experiences.”

a small section of asphalt road edges a section of fall forest. Tall trees stretch upward, and the ground is covered in dried, brown leaves

How bidding works

Interested bidders may pre-register and get more information about the online auction schedule at All bidders must register before a property’s auction date. Absentee bids can be made up to 30 days before the auction.

The “interactive” bidding portion of an auction will open at 10 a.m. on that auction date. At that time, bidders will be able to see current high bids for each property. Bidders can continue to place bids on a property until 7 p.m. that day, when bidding closes and the winning bidder is determined.

A detailed list including minimum bid, acreage, maps and location information of offered properties can be found at Interested bidders are encouraged to review the DNR Land Sales: Terms and Conditions.

Sale property details

Properties for sale range in size from under an acre to 200 acres.

  • There are over 20 properties 40 acres or larger available mostly throughout the U.P. and the northern Lower Peninsula.
  • Notable waterfront properties that are accessible include a Montcalm County property with frontage on the Flat River (Lot #10074) and two properties in Presque Isle County along the Rainy and Little Rainy rivers (Lot #s 10081 and 10082).
  • In addition, notable large-acreage properties that are accessible include a 40-acre property in Chippewa County along South Riverside Drive (Lot #10023), a 35-acre Lake County property along Kings Highway (Lot #10049), a 40-acre parcel in Midland County on the northwest corner of the Gordonville and Alamando Road intersection (Lot #10070), and several properties in Presque Isle County between 40 and 120 acres in size (Lot #s 10081, 10082, 10083 and 10088).

Most of the properties included in the auction were designated as surplus during the DNR’s state land review. The review aims to examine isolated state-managed parcels that are 200 acres or less with a substantial private-public boundary. Certain properties, such as boating access sites and designated trails are removed from the review, as they have been confirmed to contribute to the department’s mission. The review process is conducted on a county-by-county basis throughout the entire state. There are ample opportunities during the review for each group of counties, including before the DNR director makes a final decision on a parcel.

Separate from the online auctions, the DNR is offering additional properties (listed for sale at their former minimum bid prices) that were not sold in previous auctions. These properties are available for immediate purchase only via the BuyNow list.

Auction proceeds will help provide future outdoor recreation opportunities in keeping with the DNR’s mission to conserve, protect and manage the state’s natural and cultural resources for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations.

For more information about the sale of surplus, state-managed public land, contact DNR resource specialist Michael Michalek at 517-331-8387.

Note to editors: Accompanying photos of several land parcels offered at auction are available for download. Caption information is included in each photo's description.