The DNR has completed review of this first group of counties as part of the department’s multiyear state land review process and is determining which parcels best meet its goal of delivering broad public access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities, while also protecting the natural and cultural resources on those lands.
“We set out to carefully evaluate the more than 15,500 acres that are prescribed for review in these 10 counties, and then either retain them as important to the DNR mission, protect them through conservation partners, use them to trade to consolidate state ownership, or make them available for sale to the public through auction,” said Scott Whitcomb, DNR senior adviser for wildlife and public lands.
“It’s a long-term, detailed process that helps ensure the DNR is focused on the lands with the greatest conservation, recreation and resource management potential on behalf of the residents of Michigan,” Whitcomb said. “Now that the review is complete for this first group of counties, the next important step is to hear from the public – the people who know these local areas and use them in a variety of ways – about their ideas on the initial recommendations.”
The classification 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 land contributes to the DNR’s mission. The DNR’s initial recommended classifications break down as follows: retain (73.7%), offer to alternate conservation partner (6.8%), exchange (1.1%) or dispose (18.4%).