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DNR to host public hearing Oct. 19 regarding leashed dogs on state-managed land

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host a public hearing Thursday, Oct. 19, regarding proposed language updates to a rule governing the use of leashed dogs on state-managed land under the DNR’s control. The proposed amendment will bring the rule into alignment with its original intent and reduce confusion for land users and law enforcement personnel.

Draft rule changes include:

  • Updating the terminology – “state owned land” – to “land under the control of the department.”
  • Clarifying that dogs in an area designated as leash-free do not need to be leashed.
  • Providing consistency regarding leash requirements across all land under control of the department
  • Clarifying that dogs being used in the following situations, as approved by the DNR, do not need to be leashed:
    • Hunting.
    • Field trials.
    • While being trained for hunting purposes.

The DNR welcomes public attendance regarding these updates at a hearing Thursday, Oct. 19, at 2:30 p.m. in the Hutchinson Conference Room of Constitution Hall, 525 W. Allegan, in downtown Lansing, Michigan.

Visitors should arrive at the east entrance of Constitution Hall and tell the security guard they are attending the public hearing in the Hutchinson Conference Room.

Anyone unable to attend the hearing but interested in providing input is encouraged to send comments via email to or in writing to: Department of Natural Resources, Legislative and Legal Affairs Office, ATTN: Legal Policy Specialist, PO Box 30028, Lansing, MI 48909-7528.

All public feedback will be accepted through 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27.

Anyone needing special accommodation to participate in the hearing should call 517-284-6019.

A regulatory impact statement and cost-benefit analysis and additional documents related to the hearing are available on this Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs webpage.

After the public hearing and comment period have concluded, the final draft rule will be sent to the Administrative Rules Division in the Michigan Office of Administrative Hearings and Rules. After its review, the rules are sent to the Legislative Service Bureau for certification. Then, the Administrative Rules Division will send the final draft rule to the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, where the final draft rule must sit for 15 session days, before transmitting to the Secretary of State’s Office of the Great Seal. The amended rule will become effective immediately upon filing with the Office of the Great Seal.