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Public lands

Your public lands

The DNR takes care of approximately 4.6 million acres of public lands owned by Michigan residents. Sound management of these public lands in many ways drives the quality of life we all value. When our lands are well managed, they contribute significantly to the health of our families and our environment and the strength of our economy. Public lands also offer Michigan residents and visitors ample opportunities to snowmobile, put a boat in the water, hunt, camp, hike, watch wildlife and learn about history - just to name a few of their benefits.

State forests - 3.9 million acres | State parks - 360,000 acres | State game & wildlife areas - 364,000 acres

State Land Review

As required by the 2013 Managed Public Lands Strategy, we are in the process of reviewing certain state-managed public lands to determine if they contribute to the DNR mission, or if they should leave state ownership. There will be numerous opportunities for public involvement throughout this review process. See what land is currently under review and learn about the options for giving your input.

View recommendations and provide input

Public Land Strategy

The public land strategy provides a framework for the conservation and management of DNR-managed public lands to ensure their best use for the benefit of Michigan residents, visitors and the state's natural resources. It will be implemented between 2021-2027, following consideration and approval by the Michigan Legislature.

The strategy sets priorities and guides actions for the best use of this large DNR-managed public land base to benefit Michigan residents and visitors and the state's natural resources.

Public land strategy 2021-2027 »

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Economic Value of Public Lands

DNR-managed public lands play a significant role supporting many aspects of Michigan’s economy:

  • Michigan’s state parks, which draw 28 million visitors each year, act as a catalyst to attract out-of-state tourists and provide a focal point for activities that drive local economies.
  • Michigan’s state game and wildlife areas, state forests and state parks offer abundant places to hunt, fish and watch wildlife, all activities that help drive the state’s economy. Hunting contributes almost $9 billion, fishing contributes more than $2 billion and wildlife viewing contributes more than $1 billion annually.
  • Home to many tourist attractions – known for both their unique natural beauty and their rich history – DNR-managed lands are the backbone of Michigan’s $20 billion-plus tourism industry.
  • Harbors and boat launches on DNR-managed lands also provide access to the Great Lakes and inland lakes and streams for boating, which has an economic impact of more than $7 billion a year in Michigan. 
  • State forest land supplies about 20% of the timber consumed by the forest industry statewide. The industry contributes $20.2 billion and more than 91,000 jobs to the economy annually.