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Camp Grayling lease update proposal

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.

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The public comment for the Camp Grayling proposal will be closed after 5 p.m., February 8, 2023. 


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. 

Public input

Public comments regarding the proposal were received by the DNR through a dedicated email box, phone calls, mail, a public comment map, and local public meetings. This included a well-attended public meeting June 22 at Kirtland Community College in Grayling.

The public comment period will be closed after 5 p.m., Feb. 8, 2023. 

Proposed locations map

Use the interactive map to view proposed locations.

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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.