The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the State's natural resources for current and future generations. As part of fulfilling that mission, the Department currently holds title to approximately 4.5 million acres of Michigan's land surface, almost 6 million acres of its mineral rights, and 25 million acres of Great Lakes' Bottomlands on behalf of the citizens of this State.
A portion of these lands were purchased specifically for the natural resource and outdoor recreation values using restricted funds including, but not limited to, revenues from the hunting and fishing licenses, state park fees, and sale of forest products, to name but a few. The Department has acquired important lands through grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund which is based on funds derived from the extraction of oil, gas, and minerals from State-owned mineral rights. The Department has also acquired key lands in part with federal funds such as Pittman-Robertson Fund, Wallop-Breaux Fund, and Land and Water Conservation Fund.
Still, the majority of the lands managed by the Department came into State ownership as a result of tax reversion in the 20th Century. Most of these lands tax reverted after being clear cut. The Department healed these cutover lands through reforestation and fire protection programs through most of the 20th Century. Those conservation programs made these lands valuable once again for forestry, wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation.
While most of these lands acquired through tax reversion contribute significantly to helping the Department fulfill its mission, some do not. The costs associated with managing some of the more scattered land holdings may outweigh the conservation and outdoor recreation values those lands provide.
Income from the sale of those tracts that are determined to contribute little to fulfilling the Department's mission would provide funds to acquire important private in-holdings within the State's lands.
This land consolidation strategy includes the review and update of DNR project boundaries; the review and classification of parcels that fall outside of the DNR project boundaries; and a process by which certain parcels may be exchanged or sold, as appropriate. Further detail on each phase of this process, along with the status of each phase, may be seen by following the link below.
from a news release of the Michigan DNR
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