So why are those trees
being cut down? It's part of good forest management
02JUN21-Visitors to the Grayling area this summer will notice some
spots in the woods where trees have been cut down on state-managed land
near trails and roadways.
The clearcuts may be unsightly for a few seasons, but they�re an
important part of the process the Michigan Department of Natural
Resources uses to manage 3.9 million acres of state forest and keep
forests thriving well into the future.
We cut trees for a lot of different reasons. It's part of good forest
management. It can be for the health of the forest, to provide wildlife
habitat, or to regenerate stands that are aging, said Steve Milford,
manager of the Eastern Lower Peninsula District of the DNRs Forest
Resources Division. Trees being cleared by timber harvesters in that
area include jack pine, red pine and hardwoods such as oak.
Cutting may remove trees more susceptible
to disease and open views along trails
also take place for other purposes. For example, jack pines in the area
are strategically cut to maintain nesting sites for the Kirtland's
warbler, a once-endangered songbird that will nest only on the ground
under the shelter of young, shrub-like jack pine trees.
Another clearcut area that will be noticeable is within the historic
Higgins Lake State Forest Nursery, which is the beginning of the North
Higgins Lake State Park hiking trail system. The seed bed grounds, which
are state park lands managed as a museum by the Michigan History Center,
were overgrown with invasive black locust trees. When the nursery
started operating in 1903, there were fewer trees on the landscape
because much of northern Michigan had been clearcut for lumber. The
nursery produced millions of seedlings to reforest large portions of the
Forest habitats change over time, said Kristen Bennett, acting
statewide trails coordinator for the DNRs Parks and Recreation Division.
Over the course of 10 or 20 years, your favorite trail or camping site
may have changed in small or big ways.
"Resource management decisions consider a variety of factors in the
level of action to take. At times, the action is to monitor and let the
natural process work. At other times, there is intensive management
through cutting and replanting. The DNR divisions work closely together
to make sure that forest health and recreation are both considered in
The areas that have been cut will remain managed forest land and are
not being cleared for development. The forest is intended to be
replanted or undergo natural generation from nearby seed trees.
DNR is certified in sustainable forest practices
The DNR is certified
by two independent agencies that
promote sound forest management. In addition, public input is always
welcome. You can find an
interactive state forest map
and learn more about state forest management plans at
Comment periods are open
through the summer for management plans including cutting, prescribed
burning and more to be carried out in 2023.
Go Cicada Hunting
for Brood X!
for something a little different? If you want to spend time outdoors but
aren't sure about fighting the Up North traffic, consider heading the
other direction in search of a once-in-a-generation spectacle from
Mother Nature instead!
The warmer nights are enticing a group of 17-year cicadas named
Brood X to come out of the ground and look for a mate. Some of
these mysterious insects already have emerged in the Ann Arbor area (the
states expected epicenter), and numbers statewide likely will peak
Cicadas are not dangerous, but they are big and
loud. Go to our
wildlife viewing: cicadas page
for more information on where to find them and how you can play an
important role in cicada science.
Plan A Birding Trip to
in northern Michigan is bursting with colorful flora and fauna. To spot
the vibrant plumage of an American redstart, golden-winged warbler or
indigo bunting, plan a trip to one of Michigan�s 19 Grouse Enhanced
GEMS are areas of public land that are managed for wildlife habitat
and recreation. While these areas are primarily used for upland game
bird hunting in the fall, they provide excellent birding and wildlife
viewing locations in the spring and summer. Equipped with accessible
walking trails, parking lots and site maps, GEMS can be navigated by
explorers of all types.
Spend a day exploring or plan a multiday road trip
a campsite along your travel route.
Visit the GEMS information kiosk and snap a picture of the map before
your hike. Read about the versatile ways habitat is managed at the site
and the wildlife species that thrive there. Once you�ve packed your
binoculars, water and sunblock, you�re ready to go.
To prepare for your trip, visit Michigan.gov/Birding to
refresh your bird identification skills, learn about respectful birding
habits and see other nearby birding locations.
There are thousands of acres of GEMS waiting to be
explored. Find locations and site descriptions at Michigan.gov/GEMS.
Questions? Contact the
DNR Wildlife Division
Avoiding Foam on Lakes and Rivers
02JUN21-As the summer months approach, the Michigan Department of
Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is issuing its annual recommendation
that Michiganders should avoid contact with foam they may see on
Michigan waterbodies such as lakes, rivers and streams.
The foam may have unknown chemicals or bacteria in it, so it is
recommended to avoid contact. Foam can form on any waterbody, but foam
on some waterbodies may have high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl
substances (PFAS). PFAS-containing foam tends to be bright white in
color, is often lightweight and may pile up like shaving cream on
shorelines or blow onto beaches.
Naturally occurring foam without PFAS tends to pile up in bays,
eddies or at river barriers such as dams. Naturally occurring foam is
typically off-white and/or brown in color and often has an earthy or
Share Your Thoughts with the DNR at Upcoming
02JUN21-The Department of Natural Resources is committed to providing
Michigan residents the opportunity to share input and ideas on policy
decisions, programs and other aspects of natural resource management and
outdoor recreation opportunities.
One important avenue for this input is at meetings
of the public bodies that advise the DNR and, in some cases, also set
policies for natural resource management. Frequently check the
DNR boards, commissions, committees and councils
webpage for updates.
The links below will take you to the webpage for each group, where
you will find specific location or virtual and teleconference meeting
information. When finalized, meeting agendas also will be available
here. Please check these pages frequently, as meeting details (such as a
change to in person rather than virtual) and agendas may change and
sometimes meetings are canceled.
Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee
Thursday, June 17th, 9 a.m. (Contact:
Barbara Graves, 517-284-6135).
Eastern Upper Peninsula Citizens'
Advisory Council Thursday,
June 17th, 6 p.m. EDT (Contact: Stacy
Welling Haughey, 906-226-1331).
Michigan Historical Commission
Thursday, June 10th, 10 a.m. (Contact:
Michelle Davis, 517-331-7374).
Michigan Natural Resources Commission
Thursday, June 10th, 9 a.m. (Contact:
Victoria Lischalk, 517-599-1067).
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund
June 16th, 9 a.m. (Contact: Jon Mayes,
Michigan State Historical Records
Advisory Board Thursday,
June 17th, 10 a.m. (Contact: Mark
Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee
Wednesday, June 9th, 2 p.m., (Contact:
Barbara Graves, 517-284-6135).
Michigan State Waterways Commission
Thursday, June 17th, 9 a.m., (Contact:
Michelle Wieber, 517-285-0747).
Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council
Thursday, June 24th, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
(Contact: Pam Vance, 517-284-6056.
Snowmobile Advisory Workgroup
Wednesday, June 23th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
(Contact: Annalisa Centofanti, 517-331-6219).
Timber and Forest Products Advisory
June 18th, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. (Contact:
Kimberley Korbecki, 517-284-5876).
Opportunity to serve
Off-Road Vehicle Advisory Workgroup,
which assists the Michigan Trails Advisory Council, is seeking
interested candidates to fill a vacant seat. The new member will
offer advice related to the creation, development, operation and
maintenance of the designated off-road trail system. For more
information or to apply, call or email
Great Lakes Frontage,
Acres of Forest, Prime Residential Lots These and More DNR Surplus Lands
Available at Online Auction
your eyes open for the right piece of Michigan property? Dont miss the
current auctions of surplus public land from the Department of Natural
After careful consideration of properties it manages on behalf of
Michigan residents, the DNR has selected 10 that are much better suited
for private ownership. The department is preparing these surplus
properties in Antrim, Baraga, Benzie, Berrien, Delta, Gogebic, Midland
and Oakland counties for sale via online auctions open now through June
15th and 16th.
Scott Goeman, DNR Real Estate Services manager, said that while these
properties no longer fit the departments goals of efficient management
and broad access to public outdoor recreation opportunities, they could
fit nicely into potential bidders' future plans.
We are responsible for more than 4.6 million acres of public lands, and
we regularly review those lands to evaluate how well they fit with our
overall management strategy, said Goeman. Sometimes, it becomes clear
that, due to a number of factors for example, if a parcel is landlocked
by private property, isolated from other DNR-managed land or doesnt
support optimum outdoor recreation opportunities it makes more sense to
remove that parcel from our management.
Just because some properties are no longer right for the DNR, though,
doesnt mean they wont be perfect for private ownership, Goeman said.
These 10 properties available at auction right now offer a variety of
landscape and natural features lake frontage, river access and mature
forests, for example that should appeal to many different buyers.
The parcels fall into three main categories: waterfront properties,
larger-acreage properties and a few under an acre in size.
Antrim County: 2-plus acres with 200 feet of frontage on the western
shore of Torch Lake.
Baraga County: An abandoned church parcel (just under an acre), near
LAnse, with 225 feet of frontage on Lake Superior.
Delta County: South of Escanaba, a forested 2-acre property offers
frontage along the western bank of the Ford River, about a half-mile
upstream from Lake Michigan.
Room to roam
Anyone with dreams of a personal forest sanctuary in either the western
Upper Peninsula or the heart of mid-Michigan might consider two of the
auctions biggest parcels:
Gogebic County: A full 40 acres near Watersmeet.
Midland County: A 60-acre Sanford property surrounded by private
Those looking for a bit less acreage that still offers a lot of space to
explore outdoors can check out these options:
Benzie County: Two separate, forested properties 20 acres in Benzonia
Township and 13 acres in Lake Township.
Berrien County: In the southwestern Lower Peninsula along Red Arrow
Highway, a forested 12.5-acre property in
Lake Township, surrounded by private land.
The saying good things come in small packages could easily apply to the
auctions final two properties prime residential parcels each under an
Delta County: A 0.6-acre property along Lake Shore Drive, in Escanaba,
with views of Lake Michigan south of town.
Oakland County: A vacant, buildable lot almost a half-acre in size
abutting a local county park in Groveland Township.
How the auctions work
The DNR is partnering with Sheridan Realty & Auction Co. to offer the
properties through individual public auctions. Bidding on all properties
is underway now, and people can continue to place bids until the end of
each propertys assigned time listing on either June 15 (for Lower
Peninsula properties) or June 16 (for Upper Peninsula properties).
Bidding for each property will close at the following dates/times:
11 a.m. Torch Lake property, Antrim County
Noon Lake Township and Benzonia Township properties, Benzie County
1 p.m. Groveland Township property, Oakland County
2 p.m. Sanford property, Midland County
3 p.m. Lake Township property, Berrien County
11 a.m. L'Anse property, Baraga County
Noon Watersmeet property, Gogebic County
1 p.m. Ford River property, Delta County
2 p.m. Lakes Shore Drive property, Delta County
Throughout the auction, everyone will be able to see the current high
bid for each property.
Visit sheridanauctionservice.com to get more information about the
online auctions. Anyone wishing to bid on a property must create a
bidding account through the Sheridan site.
Full property details, including each parcels legal description, acreage
and location information, is available through the Michigan.gov/LandForSale
webpage. Interested bidders are encouraged to review the DNRs terms and
conditions for land sales and auctions.
For more information about the sale of surplus, state-managed public
land, contact Michael Michalek, resource specialist in the DNR's Real
Estate Section, at 517-331-8387. Auction proceeds will help provide
future outdoor recreation opportunities in keeping with the DNRs mission
to conserve, protect and manage the states natural and cultural
resources for the use and enjoyment of current and future generations.
DNR public land management
Much of the land offered in these auctions is isolated from other DNR-managed
properties, which can create some challenges to efficient management.
Other parcels are included because they offer limited public recreation
Public auctions are one way the DNR achieves the results of its routine
review of public land ownership. The department is now conducting a
comprehensive statewide review of DNR-managed public lands as part of
the implementation of the 2013 Managed Public Land Strategy. Staff will
evaluate 240,000 acres, county by county, on how well they support the
DNRs mission, and then recommend classification into one of four
categories: retain in DNR ownership, offer to unit of government or
conservation organization, offer for land exchange, or dispose (via
Recommendations for the first 10 counties (Alpena, Berrien, Branch,
Cass, Charlevoix, Chippewa, Dickinson, Gogebic, Leelanau and St. Joseph)
under review are available at Michigan.gov/PublicLands under State Land
Review. Public comments on the recommendations will be accepted until
July 14, with final decision by the DNR director expected at the July
15th Michigan Natural Resources Commission meeting.
Hot Tip For Travelers:
Leave Firewood At Home
your travels may take you this summer, you can make more room for your
favorite recreational gear, your pet or even an extra friend by choosing
to leave firewood at home. Moving firewood when you camp, hunt or
head out for a weekend getaway means you risk carrying tree-killing
insects and diseases inside the firewood. Bugs can crawl out, infesting
trees and carrying diseases that can forever change the landscape of the
places you love.
Much like the emerald ash borer which spread across the state in the
early 2000s, killing many of Michigan's 700 million ash trees invasive
oak wilt, beech bark disease and hemlock woolly adelgid are threatening
tree species that are critical components of our forests and landscapes,
said Robin Rosenbaum, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development Plant Health Section manager.
According to MDARD, there are 140 pests and diseases that can be moved
with firewood. Some are already present in Michigan, while others,
including Asian long-horned beetle, beech leaf disease and spotted
lanternfly, are infesting nearby states.
On their own, these insects and diseases cant travel very far, but they
can travel hundreds of miles on firewood, said Sue Tangora, Michigan
Department of Natural Resources Forest Health and Cooperative Programs
Section supervisor. Trees cut for firewood often died due to insects or
disease. Why risk carrying oak wilt to your cabin or beech bark disease
to your favorite camping spot?
Keep the fire burning
can still have a roaring campfire, or a cozy night in front of the
fireplace, if you just know how to burn safe.
Wood that looks clean and healthy can still have tiny insect eggs or
microscopic fungi spores that can start a new and deadly infestation.
Always leave your backyard firewood at home, even if you think it looks
Buy firewood near where you will burn it a good rule of thumb is only
using wood that was cut within 50 miles of where youll have your fire.
Use FirewoodScout.org to find a firewood vendor near your destination.
With over 350 Michigan listings, you can comparison shop before you
Certified, heat-treated firewood is safe to move long distances. Look
for a federal stamp or seal on the package, and keep the firewood in the
original packaging if entering a campground that requires heat-treated
Aged or seasoned wood is still not safe. Just because it is dry doesnt
mean its clean. A recent study showed insects continued to emerge from
firewood even three years after it had been cut.
If you buy firewood and dont burn it all, dont bring it home or to your
Tell your friends not to bring wood with them everyone needs to know
they should not move firewood.
Know before you go
policies vary greatly among the national parks, national forests,
private campgrounds and other lands in Michigan. Call ahead or visit
DontMoveFirewood.org for more information.
In state parks, the DNR requests visitors purchase certified,
heat-treated firewood sold in the parks or at some local stores and
For cross-country travels, be mindful of state and federal quarantines
that may prohibit the movement of firewood or certain wood products. The
Nature Conservancy provides information on rules for U.S. states,
Canadian provinces and Mexico at DontMoveFirewood.org/Map.
Find out more
Learn about the variety of tools, including explosives, used to control
invasive insects and diseases to keep the forest ecosystem intact and
ensure you have a great recreation experience. Register for the webinar
at Michigan.gov/EGLEEvents under Featured Webinar Series.
Information on invasive tree pests and diseases of concern in Michigan
can be found at Michigan.gov/Invasives.
In those instances where there is an aggressive wild animal,
particularly animals such as geese, swans, turkeys, deer and bears,
landowners should get in touch with the nearest
DNR Customer Service Center to let the local DNR staff know about
the issue. As each situation is unique, staff will first assess
the problem and then determine the appropriate action based on the
species and location.
Landowners can contact one of the nuisance
wildlife control permittees for assistance with removal of species such
as coyotes, fox, raccoons, opossums and skunks.
Specially permitted nuisance control companies can be hired to assist
landowners with goose control programs. The U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Wildlife Services also offers removal assistance, such as
nest destruction and relocation permits.
DNR Customer Service Centers
Baraga - 906-353-6651
Bay City - 989-684-9141
Cadillac - 231-775-9727
Detroit - 313-396-6890
Escanaba - 906-786-2351
Gaylord - 989-732-3541
Lansing - 517-284-4720
Marquette - 906-228-6561
Newberry - 906-293-5131
Plainwell - 269-685-6851
Roscommon - 989-275-5151
Sault Ste. Marie - 906-635-6161
Traverse City - 231-922-5280
Crystal Falls - 906-875-6622
Gwinn - 906-346-9201
Naubinway - 906-477-6048
Norway - 906-563-9247
of the mad dash to get a good camping spot at Pictured
Rocks National Lakeshore at Little Beaver Lake Campground, Twelve Mile
Campground, or Hurricane River Campground? These campgrounds now
require reservations, after years of a "first come, first served" policy.
Since visitation has nearly doubled in the last few years during the summer months
reservations can now be made at