Skip to main content

Private Lands Program

The primary goal of the Private Lands Program (PLP) is to provide private landowners with the resources to create and manage habitat to benefit a variety of wildlife. The PLP provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners for habitat improvements that address wildlife needs.

Deer habitat grants are available for private landowners in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula at Landowners in the Southeastern Lower Peninsula interested in developing pheasant habitat on their land can contact the Michigan Pheasant Restoration Initiative biologists. Landowners in the Southwestern Lower Peninsula can find additional landowner assistance information below.

Forest habitat that attracts wildlife
  • Program description:

    In the Southwest region, the Private Lands Program focuses on providing technical and limited financial assistance to landowners interested in the management and restoration of wildlife habitat. Currently, financial assistance is available only for projects involving grasslands, oak savanna and oak barrens. Additional technical assistance may be available for landowners interested in improving habitat for deer and/or turkeys.

    Examples of possible technical assistance projects:

    • Sites larger than 20 acres.
    • Smaller sites that are part of, or adjacent to, sites of high ecological value (i.e. fens, savanna, threatened and endangered occupied).
    • Grasslands that are adjacent to, or in close proximity of hay-lands, CRP fields, and other grassed cover type.

    Examples of possible financial assistance projects include:

    • Restoring native prairie by planting various native seed mixes to address site conditions and landowner goals.
    • Management of established grasslands by recommending appropriate practices such as prescribed fire, disking or inter-seeding.
    • All phases of restoration or management of oak savanna or oak barrens sites.
    • Invasive species control in and immediately around established or new grassland, savanna or barrens sites.

    Projects for which Financial Assistance is NOT available:

    • Sites enrolled in CRP or other Federal Farm Bill programs.
    • Digging fish ponds
    • Writing Forest Stewardship Plans (forestry advice is available but this will not take the place of an FSP)
    • Financial assistance for food plots

    Contact Information:

    For landowners interested in improving your land for wildlife, and who meet the above criteria, please contact the Private Lands Biologist for your region. Our biologists can discuss your property and wildlife goals to determine what type of assistance and potential funding sources are available to help you enhance your land for wildlife.

    Kenneth S. Kesson
    Wildlife Biologist
    Southwest Michigan Region