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State Initiative Offers Private Forest Landowner Assistance
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The goal of this collaboration – bringing together landowners, conservation districts and private forestry consultants – is to boost the sustainable management of Michigan’s private forest lands. Such collaboration will naturally help to foster the growth of the timber products industry in Michigan.


Source: Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

Contact: Heather Throne at 517-373-1085 or throneh@michigan.gov

New State Initiative Offers Private Forest Landowners Assistance, Information in Managing their Lands


The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and local conservation districts have partnered on a new initiative – the Forestry Assistance Program – designed to increase active management of non-industrial private forest lands (private forestland owned by individuals).

The goal of this collaboration – bringing together landowners, conservation districts and private forestry consultants – is to boost the sustainable management of Michigan’s private forest lands. Such collaboration will naturally help to foster the growth of the timber products industry in Michigan.

“Michigan is rich in forest resources managed by private ownership,” said Jamie Clover Adams, MDARD director. “This partnership will further cultivate the relationships between state government, conservation districts, private landowners and private consulting foresters in the management of these untapped lands to increase the growth of timber products.”

There are currently 11 million acres of non-industrial private forest land in Michigan. A survey (conducted by Michigan State University) of those private forest landowners concluded that only 20 percent of that 11 million acre resource is currently being actively managed for specific forestry outcomes.

Thirteen local conservation district foresters in 31counties will provide on-site technical assistance to assess forest land quality and potential. Next, the foresters will work with landowners to identify their forest objectives for their land. Working through an established local network of private consultants, agency staff, industry representatives, timber buyers and conservation organizations, the conservation district foresters and landowners will plan a course of action to best meet those objectives.

Conservation districts will host workshops and field days to showcase forest management opportunities throughout Michigan. More information on the collaborative program can be found at www.michigan.gov/forestryassistanceprogram. This website also includes contact information for local conservation district foresters available to help private landowners.

“This program is different because it encourages landowners to first work with their local conservation district foresters to discuss and map out goals, and then bring in the private forest consultants for planning and work on the land,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh. “It’s an approach that addresses the information needs of the private landowners, supports the consulting forestry industry, and brings more product to market for the timber industry.”

“Conservation Districts stand ready to deliver this initiative,” said Art Pelon, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts President. “Districts are the trusted local resource for natural resource assistance and we are pleased to be partnering with MDARD and the DNR on this program to address the significant forest resource held by non-industrial private landowners in Michigan.”

For more information on other assistance and stewardship programs that private landowners can consider in managing their forests, visit the DNR website at www.michigan.gov/privateforestland.