DNR Get Involved: Input on state forest road ORV use, forest planning & more

Bookmark and Share
Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

DNR Get Involved - October 2018

ORV on forest trail with fall color

Here are a few ways to get involved in taking care of Michigan’s natural resources in the coming month. For more opportunities to volunteer, contribute and provide input, visit michigan.gov/dnrvolunteers.     

Help shape recommendations for ORV use on state forest roads

line of ORVs on trail

Public Act 288 of 2016 directed the DNR to inventory and map state forest roads to encourage more people to enjoy Michigan’s public lands through enhanced off-road vehicle opportunities. The northern Lower Peninsula inventory and classification are complete, and similar efforts for the southern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula are under way right now. Public opinion continues to be an important part of the evaluation process.

Next year all state forest roads will be open to ORV use unless the DNR designates them “closed” for reasons of ensuring user safety, preventing user conflicts or protecting environmentally sensitive areas.

Revised recommendations will be discussed at the Oct. 11 and Nov. 8 Natural Resources Commission meetings, with a final decision at the Dec. 13 meeting. The final, approved recommendations will go into effect January 2019.

The DNR will accept public input throughout this process. In-person comments will be accepted at all three NRC meetings. Mail, email and online comments will be accepted until Nov. 15.

Visit michigan.gov/forestroads to view interactive maps, leave comments online or get details about submitting feedback via email or U.S. mail. 

Give us your input on state forest planning

aerial photo of forest with fall color

Michigan’s 4 million acres of state forest land require a lot of careful planning to keep them healthy and thriving. That’s why the DNR finalizes plans for each forest management unit two years in advance of when any management activities – prescribed burns, timber harvests or tree thinning, for example – will take place.

This summer and fall, forest management recommendations for 2020 are being presented at open houses within those forest management units, giving people the opportunity to speak with foresters, wildlife biologists and other resource professionals. Upcoming open houses include:

  • Newberry Forest Management Unit  Oct. 16 in Newberry
  • Grayling Forest Management Unit  Oct. 17 in Grayling

About a month after each forest management unit’s open house, a public compartment review meeting also will take place. At these reviews foresters present their final decisions on management activities for that unit. Compartment review meetings coming up include:

  • Gwinn Forest Management Unit  Oct. 17 in Ishpeming
  • Shingleton Forest Management Unit  Oct. 23 in Shingleton
  • Crystal Falls Forest Management Unit  Oct. 25 in Crystal Falls
  • Newberry Forest Management Unit  Oct. 30 in Newberry
  • Grayling Forest Management Unit – Nov. 8 in Grayling

For more information – including a link to the interactive forest map showing details of forest management activities, and the forest open house and compartment review schedules – visit the public input section of the DNR’s michigan.gov/forestry webpage.

Volunteer as a recreational safety instructor

Help people enjoy Michigan’s outdoors safely! We need volunteer instructors for recreational safety courses – including hunter, boater, snowmobile and ORV – because there are not enough conservation officers to conduct training in every community across the state. 

Adopt one of Michigan’s state parks

Our Adopt-a-Park program allows volunteer groups to help maintain and enhance Michigan’s state parks. Volunteers can choose from activities like spring cleanups, environmental or accessibility projects, special events, park maintenance and development, and more.