Land acquisition and funding

  • A majority of the public land base managed by the DNR was acquired as a result of tax reversion. The land became state-owned due to the non-payment of taxes, most commonly during the Depression Era and due to farm failures.
  • The DNR is much more focused when it comes to land acquisition now and typically acquires new lands through the purchase of privately owned lands.
  • The DNR uses a variety of funding sources to acquire public lands for an array of uses. The funding sources vary including federal, state, department-generated, and private donations.
  • Examples of the primary funding sources used for land acquisition by the DNR include the following:
    • Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund: Originally derived from the leasing and sale of state-managed mineral rights, this fund is now based on the interest gained from the corpus.
    • Land Exchange Facilitation Fund: Proceeds from the sale of state-managed lands that were originally acquired through tax reversion.
    • Wildlife Sport Fish and Restoration Program: Previously known as Pittman-Robertson/Dingell Johnson funds.
    • Forest Legacy Program: Administered by the U.S. Forest Service, funded through the Land & Water Conservation Fund, and nationally competitive.
    • Land and Water Conservation Fund: Federal funds derived from revenues gained from offshore mineral extraction.
    • Game and Fish Protection Fund: Revenue derived from license fees.
  • Funding sources may include special requirements regarding how the land acquired with those funds can be used.
  • While dedicated funding is the most common method for acquiring land, the DNR does receive gifts of land and, to a lesser extent, has received lands through legal settlements and through legislative means.