DNR's surplus land auctions set for August, September

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DNR News

July 8, 2024
Contact: Michael Michalek, 517-331-8387 or Andrew Lay, 517-388-5561

Nearly 100 parcels of DNR-managed land available via online auctions in August, September

The properties, ranging in size from under an acre to 160 acres, are available in more than two dozen counties

Lot 10028, a forested, 80-acre property in Union Township, Grand Traverse County. Mature trees line a two-track dirt road.

Lake frontage, river frontage and vacant, forested acreage surrounded by private ownership – these describe some of the parcels available in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ next round of surplus land auctions set for later this summer.

The DNR is busy preparing 91 such properties for sale via online auctions in August and early September.

Surplus land sales, a regular part of the DNR’s public land strategy, are key to how the department manages the land it oversees on behalf of the people of Michigan. Auction proceeds will be reinvested in acquiring critical land for the public to help provide future outdoor recreation opportunities in keeping with the DNR’s mission to conserve, protect and manage the state’s natural and cultural resources for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations.

Land in more than two dozen counties throughout Lower Michigan and the Upper Peninsula will be available via 11 online auctions between Aug. 2 and Sept. 5:

  • Friday, Aug. 2 – Eaton and Livingston counties.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 6 – Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac counties.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 7 – Dickinson, Houghton, Marquette, Menominee and Ontonagon counties.
  • Thursday, Aug. 8 – Crawford, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Otsego and Roscommon counties.
  • Friday, Aug. 9 – Antrim and Charlevoix counties.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 13 – Alpena, Cheboygan and Presque Isle counties.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 14 – Grand Traverse and Manistee counties.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 21 – Arenac and Midland counties.
  • Thursday, Aug. 22 – Macomb and St. Clair counties.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 3 – Berrien County.
  • Thursday, Sept. 5 – Genesee County.
Lot 10021, a forested parcel with approximately 200 front foot of frontage on Trout Lake, Chippewa County. Two geese swim on calm, reedy water.

How bidding works

Interested bidders may pre-register and get more information about the online auction schedule at www.tax-sale.info. If you would like to bid on a property, you must register before the property’s auction date. Absentee bids can be made up to 30 days before an auction.

The “interactive” bidding portion of an auction will open at 10 a.m. on that auction date. At that time, bidders will be able to see current high bids for each property. Bidders can continue to place bids on a property throughout the day until 7 p.m. when bidding closes and the winning bidder is determined.

More information on the bidding process, available acreage, maps and location information of the properties offered can be found at Michigan.gov/LandForSale. Interested bidders are encouraged to review DNR Land Sales: Terms and Conditions.

Sale property details

Many of the sale parcels are forested and/or have road or river frontage but are better suited for private ownership. Much of the land offered in these auctions is isolated from other DNR-managed property, which creates management challenges. Other parcels are included because they offer limited public recreation benefits.

Several of the largest land parcels are in Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Dickinson, Eaton, Grand Traverse, Livingston, Luce, Manistee, Marquette, Menominee, Midland, Ogemaw, Otsego and Presque Isle counties. Lakefront and riverfront parcels are available in Cheboygan, Chippewa, Houghton, Luce, Marquette, Menominee, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Otsego and St. Clair counties.

Other details:

  • Properties for sale range in size from under an acre to 160 acres.
  • Many of the surplus properties highlighted in this round of auctions are in Cheboygan, Manistee, Menominee, Ogemaw and Otsego counties.
  • More than 30 available properties are 40 acres or larger and are spread mostly throughout the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula.

Notable waterfront properties that are accessible* include:

  • A Chippewa County property with frontage on Trout Lake (Lot #10021).
  • An Otsego County property with frontage on Seminole Lake (Lot #10074).
  • A property in Ogemaw County on Elk Lake (Lot #10067).

In addition, notable large-acreage properties that are accessible* include:

  • An 80-acre property in Grand Traverse County along Fife Lake Road (Lot #10028).
  • A 39-acre Eaton County property along E. Broadway Highway (Lot #10024).
  • A 50-acre parcel in Livingston County on Cunningham Lake Road (Lot #10032).
  • Several properties in Ogemaw and Otsego counties between 40 and 120 acres in size (Lot #s 10065, 10066, 10068, 10069, 10070, 10075, 10078 and 10084).

*Some DNR-managed parcels are landlocked because they are surrounded by private landowners and thereby inaccessible to anyone who is not an adjacent landowner. Here, “accessible” means legally accessible (on foot, by vehicle, etc.) to anyone.

Lot 10070, a 40-acre, forested marshland property in Horton Township, Ogemaw County. A grassy area ringed by young trees, blue sky.

Most of the properties offered at auction were designated as surplus during the DNR’s state land review, a multiyear effort to examine isolated state-managed parcels that are 200 acres or less in size or that, due to a substantial private-public boundary, may be difficult to manage. Certain properties, such as boating access sites and designated trails, were removed from the review because they have been confirmed to contribute to the department’s mission.

Separate from the August/September online auctions, the DNR is offering additional properties (listed for sale at their former minimum bid prices) that were not sold in previous auctions. These properties are available for immediate purchase only via the BuyNow list.

For more information about the sale of surplus, state-managed public land, contact Michael Michalek, resource specialist in the DNR's Real Estate Section, at 517-331-8387.

Note to editors: Accompanying photos of several land parcels are available below for download. Caption information follows.