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2021-2027 Public Land Strategy

Why a land strategy?

A comprehensive land strategy guides the DNR in its stewardship of the 4.6 million acres of public lands owned by the people of Michigan. That includes 3.9 million acres of state forests, 357,000 acres of state parks and recreation areas and 364,000 acres of state game and wildlife areas.

Using the overarching principles, which reflect the department's mission, values and priorities as a guide, this strategy is built around several components:

  • Tools for public land administration, including dedicated project boundaries^, land transaction processes and types of land ownership rights.
  • Strategic approach to land acquisitions.
  • High-level goals, specific strategies and measurable objectives to track progress.
  • Strategic initiatives.
  • Resulting outcomes.

Whether the DNR is planning timber management on the state forest, ensuring access to statewide outdoor recreation opportunities or working with a city planner on a proposed urban pathway, keeping these components in mind will help accomplish the strategy's three main purposes:

  1. Demonstrating how responsible management of the state's large public land base is important to the protection of our natural and cultural resources^, which further serves to benefit:
    1. The health and well-being of Michigan residents.
    2. Michigan residents' quality of life.
    3. Michiganders' heritage and identity.
  2. Setting priorities and guiding actions related to the lands held in public trust and administered by the DNR.
  3. Complying with Public Act 240 of 2018 (see Appendix B), which requires the DNR to:
    1. Provide an updated strategy to the Legislature for consideration and approval by July 1, 2021.
    2. Provide a report on progress toward the goals defined in the 2013 Managed Public Land Strategy (see Appendix C).
    3. Detail proposed changes to department goals, including the rationale for the changes.
    4. Engage and collaborate with local units of government.

^ Denotes words and phrases defined in Appendix A.

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