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Forest management strategies

A forester in an orange hat takes a core sample of a tree with a tool

Forest management strategies

How and why we manage forests

We care for the state forest by helping new trees to grow, improving wildlife habitat, protecting the forest from wildfires, forest pests and diseases and ensuring our forests are around for future generations to enjoy.

We do this by harvesting trees, planting trees, conducting prescribed burns and more. Methods are chosen based on what foresters want to accomplish in a particular area. We might clear cut several acres of aspen to provide a fresh food source for grouse, or we might burn an area to get rid of troublesome invasive species. It's all part of a forest management plan, carefully laid out and intended to help Michigan's forests thrive.

Share your thoughts on forest management using our forest input webpage.

View a map of state forest management activities.

Forest management plans

Collaborative Statewide Forest Action Plan

This high-level plan sets goals for all of Michigan's forest lands and shares collaborative actions to achieve them.

DNR state forest plan

This plan sets overall goals for DNR-managed state forest lands.

DNR regional forest plans

These regional plans provide guidance for DNR land managers at a local level.  

DNR Forestry Resources Division strategic plan

5-year plan to support healthy forests that provide social, economic and ecological benefits.

Forestry Best Management Practices

Best management practices are voluntary guidelines that help foresters, loggers and others who work in the woods protect soil and water quality. They include things like cleaning up fuel spills, minimizing ruts left by heavy equipment and installing properly sized culverts and bridges that allow fish passage.

We encourage anyone involved in growing, managing or harvesting trees to follow these guidelines. If you would like a printed version, contact Margaret Spagnuolo, 517-284-5903.

Download the Forestry Best Management Practices manual

Generally Accepted Forest Management Practices

The Right to Forest Act of 2002 ensures that forestry activities are protected from nuisance complaints when management actions follow a set of Generally Accepted Forest Management Practices (GAFMPS).

A forest is defined as any tract of land at least 10% stocked with trees. Forestry activities include harvesting, planting, pest control, fertilization, wildlife management and other management consistent with the principles of sustainable forestry.

Generally Accepted Forest Management Practices are a component of the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program. This sustainability verification program is managed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. 

Read the Generally Accepted Forest Management Practices


Forest health

Monitoring and responding to forest pests, diseases and invasive species.

The Good Neighbor Authority

Partnerships between state and federal forest managers.

Forest to Mi Faucet

Community partnerships for healthy forests and clean water.