Goal: Protect natural and cultural resources

Statewide Strategies

Strategy 1:

Sustainably manage and protect fish and wildlife habitat and exemplary natural communities (areas including rare, sensitive and high-quality examples of wildlife, plants, soil and more).

  • Measurable objective 1: Use DNR division assessment, management and strategic plans to guide and prioritize habitat projects.
  • Measurable objective 2: Work with external partners to maximize the number of habitat projects accomplished on DNR-managed public lands.

Strategy 2:

Identify, protect and interpret cultural resources.

  • Measurable objective 1: Complete or update interpretive plans for the seven historic state parks.
  • Measurable objective 2: Create a template for land-based interpretation of underwater cultural resources on state-owned bottomlands (particularly shipwrecks) and work with Michigan Underwater Preserves Council to implement it on at least three preserves.
  • Measurable objective 3: Annually update a three-year plan with specific projects (planning through implementation) to expand interpretation on trails on state lands. Use plan to secure grant funding for projects.
  • Measurable objective 4: Incorporate archaeological and historic buildings and landscapes when setting management goals and developing management strategies.

Strategy 3:

Provide information about the importance of Michigan’s unique cultural and natural resources and why protecting them is important.

  • Measurable objective 1: Ensure the DNR website continues to provide user-friendly information about Michigan’s unique cultural and natural resources.
  • Measurable objective 2: Post regularly on social media to highlight Michigan’s unique cultural and natural resources and celebrate conservation milestones.
  • Measurable objective 3: Offer online and in-person presentations, classes, and professional development opportunities for educators, each offering different cultural and natural resources topics.
  • Measurable objective 4: Create an exhibit plan and inventory current interpretive signage on DNR-administered properties to allow prioritized removal and/or replacement, as budget allows.

Strategy 4:

Maintain and improve areas on state lands managed for a specific conservation value (unique areas that may contain important natural resources, including rare, threatened or endangered species, 100-year-old trees, sand dunes, or other important ecosystems).

  • Measurable objective 1: Complete management plans for each of the identified ecological reference areas (high-quality areas that have been mostly undisturbed, with management conducted mainly for protection) within the state forest system.
  • Measurable objective 2: Use spatial databases (which store geographic information, such as land boundaries, Great Lakes coastal habitat and waterways locations) and web-based tools to identify high-quality aquatic habitat for additional protections
  • Measurable objective 3 Complete a natural resource stewardship plan for state parks and recreation areas with one or more exemplary natural community or one or more special concern, threatened or endangered species (state or federal).
  • Measurable objective 4: Complete Michigan Forest Inventory – a system used to track all current and historical DNR-managed forest data, including maps, plantings, cuts, ownership and more – on state parks and recreation areas to define the boundaries of areas managed for a specific conservation value.

Strategy 5:

Address priority invasive species and forest health management needs.

Strategy 6:

Integrate the role of fire in ecosystem management while protecting resources from detrimental wildfires.

  • Measurable objective 1: Increase the effectiveness of current prescribed burn efforts necessary for ecological restoration, habitat enhancement and silviculture (the development and care of forests) by documenting an expert DNR opinion on the effectiveness of the burn.
  • Measurable objective 2: Maintain effective fire suppression efforts while balancing the need to ensure that sensitive natural and cultural resources are protected to the greatest extent possible. 

Strategy 7:

Maintain, improve, replace and remove infrastructure as needed to reduce impacts to natural resources.

  • Measurable objective 1: Implement an infrastructure asset management program that includes a comprehensive maintenance, repair and replacement plan for DNR-managed infrastructure.
  • Measurable objective 2: Conduct a road-stream crossing inventory on DNR-managed public lands using the Great Lakes Road Stream Crossing Inventory procedure and maintain a publicly accessible database. Use this information to prioritize culvert/bridge replacement projects using best practices, preferably with partners.
  • Measurable objective 3: Regularly inspect DNR-managed dams and update the publicly accessible database of state regulated dams on DNR-managed public lands. Use this information to prioritize dam removals using best practices, preferably with partners.
  • Measurable objective 4: Prioritize the use of green infrastructure (for example, pervious pavement – which allows water to soak through – rain gardens, soft shorelines) when designing and constructing new development projects.

Strategy 8:

Develop proactive ways to adapt, prepare and mitigate emerging and existing threats to natural and cultural resources and facilities due to climate change.

  • Measurable objective 1: Identify tools assist in efforts to mitigate effects of climate change on state lands.
  • Measurable objective 2: Incorporate climate change adaptations, preparedness and mitigation measures into DNR strategic and operational plans.
  • Measurable objective 3: Maintain and enhance biological diversity and site resiliency to provide for changes to climate.

Strategy 9:

Protect DNR-managed public lands from being damaged by unauthorized uses.

  • Measurable objective 1: Resolve land matters consistently to protect lands for their intended purposes.