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Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Private Land Assistance Network (NLP Deer PLAN)

Program objective

The Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Private Land Assistance Network (NLP Deer PLAN) is a grant program designed to produce tangible deer habitat improvements, foster productive relationships between the DNR, sportsmen's organizations and private landowners, increase deer availability to public and private land hunters, reduce transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis and agricultural damage caused by deer and encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis. This grant program is targeted for implementation in the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP).


The purpose of the NLP Deer PLAN is to develop a collaborative approach to deer habitat improvement on private land ownerships in the NLP. There are five primary objectives for this program. All projects must attempt to address these objectives in order to be considered for approved funding:

  1. To produce and/or improve tangible on-the-ground deer habitat (summer and/or winter range) in the project focus area.
  2. To increase partnerships between the DNR, sportsmen's organizations, private landowners, agricultural producers and other partners.
  3. To increase deer availability to hunters on both public and private land.
  4. To reduce transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis and agricultural damage caused by deer.
  5. To encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis.


To be eligible to participate in this grant program an application must be submitted from a conservation organization, sportsperson group, non-governmental organizations, local Conservation District(s), or a landowner.

Conservation organizations may be local chapters of state, regional or national groups. Eligible applicants must provide a federal tax number or social security number in order register with the State of Michigan to facilitate grant funding. A partner organization must name a project contact person / representative and include appropriate contact information on the application. Eligible partner organizations may apply for funding for multiple projects in a fiscal year, each of which will be evaluated independently. Eligible partner organizations may not apply for funding for unspecified projects or purposes.

In 2024, the focus of the NLP Deer PLAN is to improve deer habitat on privately owned rural lands. While public access is not required, public access to projects is highly desired and projects with provisions that allow legal public access (e.g. the Hunting Access Program) for hunting of deer will be reflected in the project scoring process. Proximity to active agricultural lands will also be highly desirable in order to assist in reducing negative impacts to agricultural operations and will be reflected in the project scoring process. In addition, the formation of cooperatives or partnerships that include multiple property owners and at least 150 acres between at least two properties will be awarded additional scoring points. Finally, implementing deer management in the form of harvesting and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis will gain additional scoring points. See the NLP Deer PLAN Handbook for more information on scoring criteria.

All 2024 project areas must be within the following focus area counties: Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Presque Isle.

State owned lands are not eligible for NLP Deer PLAN funding. Currently, there are existing mechanisms for partnerships between the DNR and external partners to enhance state land wildlife habitat. If you are interested in partnering on state lands, you should contact the respective local wildlife biologist to explore feasibility.


Proposal applications must be submitted by mail or parcel service and be postmarked by 11:59 p.m., July 14, 2023. Please send them to:

DNR Gaylord Customer Service Center
Attn: Emily Sewell
1732 West M-32
Gaylord, MI 49735

They can also be faxed to 989-732-0794


Successful applicants will be notified by August 31, 2023. Approved projects will start immediately. All projects are required to be fully completed or have specified contractual deliverables completed by Sept. 30, 2024.

Dollar amount available

Grant proposals requesting a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $15,000 in funding from the DNR will be considered. Required partner cost share for approved projects is 25 percent of total costs.

Source of funds

The NLP Deer PLAN is funded from the Deer Range Improvement (DRIP). The intent of the DRIP fund is to provide financial support to improve deer habitat statewide.


For technical questions regarding the NLP Deer PLAN Grant Handbook, contact:

Emily Sewell, Wildlife Health Specialist
Gaylord DNR Customer Service Center
1732 W M-32, Gaylord 49735
Ph: 231-340-1821

For questions regarding habitat in Alpena, Montmorency, and Presque Isle counties, contact:

Angela Kujawa, Wildlife Biologist
Atlanta DNR Field Office
13501 N. M33, Atlanta, MI 49709
Ph: 989-785-4251 Ext. 5230

For questions regarding habitat in Alcona, Crawford and Oscoda counties, contact:

Brian Piccolo, Wildlife Biologist
Roscommon DNR Customer Service Center
8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon 48653
Ph: 989-275-5151 Ext. 272-2030