Algiers, Allegan, Barry, Bay, Gladwin, Lake, Midland, Montmorency, Près Isle, Schoolcraft and Wexford – if you spend time hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, bird watching or enjoying the outdoors on public lands in any of these counties, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources wants your attention.
The DNR has completed a review of this sixth group of counties as part of the department’s multi-year state land review process and is determining which parcels best meet its goal of providing broad public access to land opportunities. quality outdoor recreation, while protecting the natural and cultural resources on these lands.
The public is invited to learn more about this land review process and to participate in virtual meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, November 2 and 3, to share their comments on the results of this review.
“We set out to carefully assess the more than 30,000 acres to be screened in these 11 counties, then to retain them as important to the DNR’s mission, to protect them through conservation partners, to exchange them to consolidate the property of the State or to make them available for sale. to the public through auction,” said Scott Whitcomb, director of MNR’s Office of Public Lands.
It’s a detailed, long-term process that Whitcomb says helps ensure the DNR focuses on the lands with the greatest potential for conservation, recreation, and resource management on behalf of Michigan residents.
“We are now at a stage of reviewing the sixth group of counties where the next important step is to hear from the public – people who know these local areas and use them in various ways – about their thoughts on the first recommendations,” Whitcomb said “We have had a great response from previous public reviews and, using local knowledge of the areas, have made several corrections to our maps and property records, highlighting how important it is to have this contribution.”
The grading label for each parcel may be based, in part, on the natural or cultural resources present on the land; how the land is used, accessed or managed; and whether the field contributes to the mission of the department. The initial classifications recommended by the DNR for public lands in these 11 counties break down as follows:
- Retain (59.5%).
- Offer to another custody partner (11.6%).
- Exchange (6%).
- Public auction (22.9%).
Use the interactive map to see the DNR’s recommendations and submit your comments.
Join a virtual public meeting on November 2 or 3
The DNR is hosting two virtual town hall meetings on Wednesday, November 2 and Thursday, November 3 to help people learn more about the state’s land review process and the 11 counties currently under review.
You do not need to have Microsoft Teams on your computer or smart device to join, but please note that each link is specific to its meeting date and time, and the links will not be live or accessible. until each meeting has been “opened” by the moderator. Anyone without access to a computer can call in using the phone number provided.
- 6:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Wednesday, November 2
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
Or call (for audio only) +1 248-509-0316, 875757308#
Conference number: 875 757 308#
- 2 p.m. (Eastern time) Thursday, November 3
Join Microsoft Teams Meeting
Or call (for audio only) +1 248-509-0316, 408091290#
Conference number: 408 091 290#
Those unable to attend can view a recording of the public meeting presentation, available on the DNR’s State Land Review webpage, along with additional updates that will be posted throughout the process.
For additional resources on public lands, visit Michigan.gov/PublicLands. For special accommodation requests, contact Kerry Heckman at 517-643-1256.
More opportunities for public comment
In addition to the public meetings and via the interactive map, comments on these initial recommendations for this sixth group of counties can be submitted by email through November 4 to [email protected]
All comments received will be considered as MNR staff develop recommendations for the MNR Director’s final decision, which will take place at a future public meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.
MNR land managers recently began the initial review for the seventh group of counties. These recommendations are expected to be available for public review in February 2023.
About the State Land Review Process
With nearly 4.6 million acres of public land to maintain, the DNR makes many decisions about how best to manage state parks, trails, game and wildlife areas, forests and facilities. developed (like boat launches and hatcheries) that belong to the people of Michigan.
In 2013, the DNR developed a public land strategy to guide public land ownership and maximize benefits for residents and the state’s natural resources. This strategy asked DNR land managers—using an approach that encompasses different land uses and multiple levels and perspectives of management—to examine approximately 240,000 acres of public lands statewide to determine their contribution to the achievement of the DNR’s mission.
These 240,000 acres include parcels that are 1.) 200 acres or less, or 2.) difficult to manage due to their irregular shape, resulting in a significant shared boundary between private and public. The strategy calling for this review was approved in September 2018 and work began in early 2020 to determine next steps.
MNR land managers opted for a county-by-county approach, with all counties placed into one of eight groups for review. The MNR team will review the groups one by one to follow the process of assessment, public review and final recommendation for each group. A single group review will take about nine months, and the DNR plans to scan all 83 counties by early 2024.
Monitor the DNR’s State Land Review webpage for news and progress updates.