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Camp Grayling lease update proposal

Background information

The DNR is reviewing a proposal for the expansion of DNR-leased lands available for low-impact Camp Grayling military training activities. The proposal for approximately 162,000 acres of land around the camp, headquartered west of the City of Grayling in northern Lower Michigan, is part of a desired update to accommodate evolving training methods.

If the proposal is approved to move forward and meets environmental and parcel review requirements, public access to state lands including forest roads for ORV use would remain. Au Sable and Manistee river access would also remain open with 1,500-foot buffers from military activities. There are no anticipated environmental impacts from the proposal.

Access to portions of the training area could occasionally be restricted for public safety to accommodate military training exercises, as is typical for currently leased lands. “Impact zones” where live fire is directed would not be added to these lands. 

Information about training activities would be provided on local radio and social media channels, including the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center Facebook page, using the same procedure in place for existing leased lands.

The military has leased lands for training from the State of Michigan since 1935. 

View an FAQ document provided to the DNR by Camp Grayling officials. 

Send media inquiries to: Tom Barnes, 231-384-7732 (DNR) and Capt. Andrew Layton 517-940-0881 (Camp Grayling). 

Public input

The public will have opportunities to provide input for consideration on the proposal. Comments will be accepted through the review process.

Public meeting

A public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. June 22 at Kirtland Community College, 4800 W. 4 Mile Road, Grayling. Attendees will learn about the proposal and have an opportunity to submit comments.

Submit comments via map

Use the interactive map to view proposed locations and make comments on areas of interest. If you have questions, need the data in an alternative format, or would like to submit your comments via email, please send your requests/comments to barnest2@michigan.gov, or call 231-384-7732.

Open the public input map

Image preview of Mi Trees map in desktop, tablet and cell phone format

Review process

The review process for the proposal involves many steps. Following the public comment period, a decision on moving the proposal into the parcel and environmental review stages will be made by the DNR director.

  1. DNR parcel review
    • Staff review of proposed parcels to remove those purchased with restricted funds, campgrounds and parcels that do not allow leasing.
    • Review Kirtland’s Warbler habitat with Kirtland’s Warbler Management Team, with representation including the DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.
    • Use Conservation Viewer tool to remove parcels where training could have negative impacts on fish, wildlife and the natural landscape.
    • Maintain 1500-foot buffer around lakes and rivers.
  2. DNR and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs review revised expansion footprint.
  3. Military conducts federal environmental analysis on new expansion footprint.
  4. DNR and DMVA determine lease limits and language for each expansion area.
  5. Public input opportunity on refined plan.
  6. DNR executive management review of revised draft.
  7. Final draft presented to DNR director and National Guard adjutant general for approval.