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2021-2027 Public Land Strategy

Goal 1: Protect natural and cultural resources

One of the primary, essential responsibilities of the DNR is the obligation to protect and conserve the natural and cultural resources of the state. Ensuring the health and resiliency of Michigan's natural communities on DNR-managed public lands contributes to the state's unique sense of place, the overall well-being of Michiganders, and the distinguished hunting and fishing traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Protecting the landscapes, buildings and archaeological resources on public lands documents Michigan's heritage and identity for future generations. Together, this goal will be accomplished by strategies ranging from the management of habitat and natural communities to the interpretation of heritage trails - epitomizing the core functions of the DNR.

Strategy 1 (statewide):

Sustainably manage and protect fish and wildlife habitat, natural communities and areas that are managed for a specific conservation value^.

  • Measurable objective: Use assessment, management and strategic plans adopted by each of the DNR's resource managing divisions to guide and prioritize habitat and natural community management (see Appendix Q).
    • Measure: Tracking of work toward accomplishment of goals identified in adopted DNR plans.

Strategy 2 (statewide):

Develop proactive ways to adapt, prepare and mitigate emerging and existing threats to natural and cultural resources due to climate change^.

  • Measurable objective: Identify emerging threats to natural resources due to climate change and determine the appropriate strategy to address them.
    • Measure: List of identified emerging threats and strategies to address them.

Strategy 3 (statewide):

Address priority invasive species.

Strategy 4 (statewide):

Integrate the role of fire in ecosystem management.

  • Measurable objective: Optimize the use of prescribed burning as a management tool to achieve ecological restoration, habitat enhancement and silviculture objectives.
    • Measure: Number of prescribed burns and acres conducted on DNR-managed public lands that meet treatment objectives identified in each burn plan.

Strategy 5 (statewide):

Maintain, enhance, replace and remove infrastructure as needed to reduce impacts to natural resources.

  • Measurable objective: Regularly inspect DNR-managed dams and conduct a road-stream crossing inventory on DNR-managed public lands. Use the information gathered to prioritize dam removals and culvert/bridge replacement projects.
    • Measure: Number of dam inspections completed and resulting infrastructure projects.
    • Measure: Completion of road-stream crossing inventory and number of resulting culvert/bridge projects.

Strategy 6 (statewide):

Protect and restore DNR-managed public lands impacted by degradation caused by unauthorized uses.

  • Measurable objective: Identify areas on DNR-managed public lands where the natural resources have been degraded by illegal uses, prioritize sites for restoration, and secure funding to complete restoration work.
    • Measure: Number and cost of sites restored.

Strategy 7 (statewide):

Identify, protect and interpret cultural resources.

  • Measurable objective: Development and implementation of interpretive plans for state parks, trails, state forests and underwater cultural resources (particularly shipwrecks).
    • Measure: List of plans developed and/or implemented.
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