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2021-2027 Public Land Strategy

Goal 3: Perform responsible natural resource management

The duty to implement a scientifically sound, ecosystem-based strategy for resource management aimed at protecting and enhancing the sustainability, diversity and productivity of Michigan's natural resources is another fundamental obligation of the DNR. Responsible management of natural resource assets involves ensuring timber management and harvests are sustainable, extraction and storage of mineral products and recreation on DNR-managed public lands are accomplished in a way that protects the long-term integrity of the state's natural resources. Aside from the inherent benefits of healthy forests, wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities, the active management of these valuable resources also significantly contributes to sectors of Michigan's economy and benefits its residents. The management of the state forest system helps to support a vibrant forest products industry. The underground storage of natural gas in Michigan's unique geology helps to drive down heating costs for residents. Making DNR-managed public lands available for recreation activities such as biking on a trail helps to support small businesses in communities along that path ranging from a bike repair shop to restaurants and hotels. The sustainable management of Michigan's natural resource assets will play a significant role as the world continues to mitigate climate change and shift toward renewable energy sources. This approach to the responsible management of our natural resources will be accomplished by strategies ranging from sustainably managing the vast state forest system to the identification of opportunities for climate change mitigation through using DNR-managed public lands as natural climate solutions.

Strategy 1 (Upper and northern Lower peninsulas):

Sustainably manage and protect the state forest system while also maintaining dual third-party forest certification^.

  • Measurable objective: Manage the state forest annually according to the State Forest Management Plan (which guides sustainable harvest, reforestation work, habitat values and recreation) (see Appendix S) while maintaining dual third-party forest certification.
    • Measure: Number of acres planted, and acres and volume of timber prescribed, prepared and sold annually.

Strategy 2 (statewide):

Facilitate responsible oil and gas, metallic and nonmetallic mineral and underground gas storage development through leasing activities.

  • Measurable objective: Continue to hold regular oil and gas lease auctions and process direct lease requests to make minerals available for production.
    • Measure: Revenue generated and acres leased annually.

Strategy 3 (statewide):

Contribute to a strong and thriving outdoor recreation industry by marketing the abundance and availability of recreation opportunities on DNR-managed public lands.

  • Measurable objective: Highlight DNR-managed public lands and their recreation opportunities in an easily accessible format that is targeted to the public, local units of government, recreation clubs and groups, and recreation industry, among others.
    • Measure: Revenue generated annually by recreation use occurring on DNR-managed lands (for example, overnight camping and state-managed harbor stays and Recreation Passport sales).

Strategy 4 (statewide):

Assess the potential for locating utility-scale solar energy on DNR-managed public lands that have been degraded by past industrial use.

  • Measurable objective: Develop a comprehensive inventory of DNR-managed public lands that contain brownfields, postindustrial sites, or are otherwise degraded, marginal lands and market them for potential renewable energy development.
    • Measure: Number of developed sites and their total production capacity.

Strategy 5 (statewide):

Identify and address opportunities for climate change mitigation associated with natural resources management on DNR-managed public lands.

  • Measurable objective: Conduct a pilot project to determine the potential for DNR-managed public lands to sequester carbon and market the carbon offset credits generated.
    • Measure: Carbon credits^ generated and sold.
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