Public lands - owned by you, managed by the DNR
Forests, parks, trails, hunting land and more
We manage over 4.6 million acres of public land owned by Michigan citizens. The quality of life we all value in our state is driven in large part by the sound management of these public lands. They impact the health of our families, the condition of our environment and the strength of our economy in positive, significant ways.
Here is the breakdown of how these lands are used:
- State forests - over 3.8 million acres: Managed for reforestation, timber harvest, timber health, recreation such as hunting and fishing, water quality protection and wildlife habitat.
- State parks - 352,000 acres: Provide recreational opportunities such as camping, fishing and hiking, and also are managed to support wildlife.
- State game areas 360,000 acres: Provide excellent hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Economic value of public lands
DNR-managed public lands support:
- A timber industry that generates $20 billion for Michigan’s economy and employs 35,000 people
- A $22.8 billion tourism industry, with 6 of Michigan’s top 10 tourist destinations being on public land
- 680,000 hunters who pump $2.3 billion into our economy
- 1.1 million anglers who generate $2.5 billion for Michigan’s economy
- Oil and gas production, natural gas storage, and mineral development that play a very important role in contributing to our economy
Public Act 240 and Michigan's Managed Public Land Strategy
- Public Act 240 of 2012 (PA 240)
PA 240 required the development of a written strategic plan for public land management, tying the amount of public land that we can manage to the Legislature’s approval of the strategic plan. This plan was to be created with input from the public and local units of government. The act also required we post to our website the number of acres of land we manage north and south of the Mason-Arenac line, in total for the state, and by program.
- Michigan's Managed Public Land Strategy
Why the Strategy was created:
Public Act 240 of 2012 required the creation of a strategic plan for public land management. The resulting plan is Michigan's Managed Public Land Strategy, created in collaboration with a broad range of partners. The Strategy provides a framework for the continued conservation, use and management of public lands to provide an enhanced quality of life for residents and visitors and ensure the best use of public land.
Appendices to the Strategy:
This collection of documents shows how public land is acquired, sold and used in Michigan. The documents in these appendices summarize economic activity involving DNR-managed public land, show examples of how public land was sold to support economic activity, and summarize previous land management reports.
County maps of DNR-managed public land (appendix 6):
- DNR Project Boundaries Maps
Project boundaries are geographic lines that help define the state’s public lands acquisition and disposal strategy (Michigan's Managed Public Land Strategy). As part of the strategy, we will improve project boundary alignments of public lands to more closely reflect actual land ownership. There currently are about 1.9 million acres of privately owned lands scattered within the project boundaries.
The following maps show the boundaries that were approved by the Natural Resources Commission in May, 2004. The maps for each county show the project boundaries overlaid on DNR ownership. (Please note: there is no map for Genesee County, as there are no project boundaries within that county).
To view a map, select a county from the state map or list.
Pause the pointer over a county on the map to view the county name.