MARQUETTE – The Department of Natural Resources today announced that its proposed final Regional State Forest Management Plans (RSFMPs) – designed to help the DNR sustainably manage Michigan’s nearly 4 million acres of state forest land – are now available for final public review. The plans and other information are posted on the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/regionalforestplans.
The DNR developed the three plans – which cover the eastern Upper Peninsula, the western Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula – using an inclusive planning effort and input from a diverse group of stakeholders representing government organizations, outdoor recreation, the forest resources industry, conservation agencies and everyday citizens. The plans will provide resource managers with long-term, landscape-level direction that will guide DNR decisions about forest management activities and treatments on state forest land. The plans also ensure the protection of wildlife habitat and opportunities for recreation.
Bill O’Neill, chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, said the feedback the department received during the public review period (October 2012 through March 2013) was invaluable to the completion of the plans.
“Successful management of Michigan’s state forest land requires discussions with a variety of stakeholders,” said O’Neill, who also serves as state forester. “We received many thoughtful comments and suggestions for improving the plans, both in writing and during meetings with people and organizations around the state, which has resulted in better plans that will help to ensure that our state forests continue to meet Michigan’s recreation, economic and conservation needs now and in the future.”
The proposed final plans will be on the agenda for information only at the Nov. 7 meeting of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), which will be held at the MSU Diagnostic Center, 4125 Beaumont Road, in Lansing.
People who have further comments or ideas regarding the plans are encouraged to submit them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to DNR Forest Resources Division, Forest Planning and Operations Section, P.O. Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909-7952. Comments will be accepted through Dec. 9, 2013.
After the final public review period closes, the plans will be subject to the approval of DNR Director Keith Creagh. The director’s action will be announced at a future NRC meeting.