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Public Input Needed on Regional State Forest Management Plans

October 24th, 2012

Public input on the recently released Regional State Forest Management Plans is being taken from now until January 2, 2013.

The Depart of Natural resources announced the release of the draft management plans on October 22, covering roughly 14 million acres of forest in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula. The plans were developed by the state and core stakeholders, which included land owners, timber industry representatives and conservation agencies.

These draft plans recognize the unique aspects of individual management areas and tend to regional needs by splitting the Upper Peninsula into Eastern and Western regions. Under the management plans, the State looks to better inform and guide management decisions on forested land.

Parts of the management plans include forest health and resources, wildlife species and habitat needs, water and fish habitat as well as the socioeconomic benefits of forests such as the timber industry and recreation opportunities.

Public review is crucial to the State’s planning process in order to tailor the regional plans to specific needs and develop a measure of how well the current draft plans touch on landowner and regional issues.

The plans are posted on the DNR’s website for public comment through January 2, 2013 at which point the DNR will assess feedback and revise each plan while consulting with stakeholders. Upon final review, the plans will be presented by Director Creagh at the Natural Resources Commission.

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