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Climate action

A single common loon in a lake

Climate action

Michiganders are feeling the effects of climate change now:

  • Winters are cloudier and rainier.
  • Recreational opportunities like ice fishing and snowmobiling are becoming scarcer and less predictable.
  • Lake Superior is one of the fastest warming lakes in the world.
  • The geographic range of snowshoe hare and other mammals has shifted north.
  • Warming lakes and streams are stressing trout, walleye, and other fishes that need cool and cold water to survive, causing some waters to no longer support these species.
  • More rapid spread of invasive species like hemlock wooly adelgid.

These and many more impacts to our natural resources are predicted to grow increasingly severe. We can all do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. DNR is working to creatively adapt our management of fish and wildlife, woods and water, and all lands, buildings and operations under the DNR’s care.

Learn more below about steps we are taking – as well as actions you can take – to protect Michigan’s great outdoors in the face of a changing climate.

Energy-efficient facilities

Statewide, we are addressing our facilities’ carbon footprints in two ways. First, we are making strategic upgrades at facilities to reduce the amount of energy they consume. Second, we are sourcing more of the energy we still use from renewable sources.

You might notice new LED lighting at our facilities, solar panels on our buildings, or our parks staff utilizing electric vehicles and equipment. These projects are all part of our transition to more climate-friendly operations.

We are working hard to strategize future upgrades to lower both our utility bills and greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy-efficient facilities

Renewable energy

We are contributing to the state’s energy transition goals with initiatives such as the Groveland Mine project, a large-scale solar array on a former mining site, projected to generate 120 megawatts of renewable energy (enough to power 17,600 homes).

Former mining sites, like Groveland, and other brownfields are often difficult to redevelop. Constructing large-scale solar arrays on these sites is a way to put public lands back in productive use and produce clean, renewable energy.

Additional efforts include installing EV charging stations at select state parks to add to the state's EV charging infrastructure. Learn more about how the DNR is contributing to Michigan's sustainability goals.

Renewable energy

Carbon credits

Michigan is the first state to pioneer selling carbon credits from our state forests and investing the revenue from those credits into more climate change initiatives in a positive feedback cycle.

Industries that produce carbon emissions may purchase carbon offset credits, investing in forests as carbon sinks, or storage areas. Carbon offset credit projects support natural climate solutions on working forest lands. Revenues will be invested into our sustainability, climate change adaptation or mitigation efforts.

Forest carbon credits project

Mass timber

An open space built of mass timber with an industrial look and warm, modern wood paneled ceilings and beams

Along with partners at Michigan State University and the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute, we are leading the way for the use of an innovative, sustainable building method called mass timber. This innovative building material allows us to store carbon in our built environment, while the new trees regrowing after harvest capture and store additional carbon on the land.

Mass timber allows for construction of large and tall buildings using engineered wood panels, boasting features such as:

  • Renewable forest materials
  • Proven fire and seismic resistance
  • Fast construction; 25% faster on average
  • Lighter than concrete and steel
  • Ability to prefabricate panels offsite

Our newest building, a Customer Service Center in Newberry, is being constructed to showcase mass timber techniques.

Planting trees

Michigan’s trees, whether on a city block or in an old-growth forest, capture and store an incredible amount of carbon. Trees also provide wildlife habitat and create more resilient landscapes, all while cooling our cities, reducing stormwater runoff and erosion, and purifying our water. As part of the global Trillion Trees initiative, we have pledged to plant 50 million trees by 2030, with a potential carbon impact estimated at 13.4 million tons of CO2.

Michigan’s pledge, known as MI Trees, aims to inspire people to plant trees. But it’s more than just a tree planting campaign – it’s a spark to raise awareness about the importance of trees, reflect on Michigan’s rich forest history and build capacity to grow forests and communities.

Michigan's Mi Trees pledge

MI Healthy Climate Corps

We are excited to be a host site for the MI Healthy Climate Corps, which is an innovative initiative at the forefront of climate intervention and environmental resilience across Michigan. Through this program, we are empowering Michiganders to build the skills and experience to pursue careers for a more climate-resilient future and expanding pathways into green jobs.

How you can help

Lessen the impacts of climate change

Learn what you can do about climate change - suggested actions from the EPA

Plant a tree

Visit MiTrees to see how you can be part of our tree-planting efforts.

MiHealthy Climate webinars

Learn more about climate impacts and action in Michigan.