• Red envelope Subscribe to Assistance to Private Forestland Owners updates from the Michigan DNR
  • Private Forest Land Programs Overview - Michigan.gov/privateforestland

    Michigan ranks 11th in the nation with 20.3 million acres of total forest land, which is 55 percent of the land area of our two peninsulas. More than 12.6 million acres of the forest land in Michigan is privately owned, or about 62 percent of our forests. Your own forest may not be huge, but altogether the 400,000 or so family forest owners in Michigan are by far the largest group of forest owners in our state.

    Private Forest Land  
    Families and Individuals 9.2 million acres
    Corporations 2.7 million acres
    Other Private Land 0.7 million acres

    Public Forest Land
    Michigan Department of Natural Resources 4.2 million acres
    United States Forest Service 2.7 million acres
    Other Public Land 0.8 million acres

    DNR Service Foresters
    Gary Willis, Baraga; Western Upper Peninsula; willisg2@michigan.gov; 906-353-6651
    Ernie Houghton, Escanaba; Eastern Upper Peninsula; houghtone@michigan.gov; 906-786-2351
    Mike Hanley, Haslett; Lower Peninsula; hanleym@michigan.gov; 517-675-5445
  • Forest Stewardship Program Forest Stewardship Program logoThe purpose of the Forest Stewardship Program is to encourage long-term stewardship of family forest land by providing professional planning and technical assistance to private landowners. Participation in the program is voluntary, and forest landowners can obtain information and cost-share assistance throughout the year. Since 1991, almost 5,000 landowners in Michigan have used their Forest Stewardship Plan to help them to protect, manage, and enjoy their forest.
  • Commercial Forest Program Commercial Forestry WorkThe Commercial Forest program provides a significant property tax reduction to private landowners as an incentive to retain and manage their forest land for long-term timber production in support of the state's forest products industry. Landowners pay a specific tax (currently $1.25 per acre) in property taxes in exchange for managing their land as a productive commercial forest. More than 2.2 million acres of private forest land that are owned by 1,800 landowners are enrolled in the program. Commercial Forest lands are open to the public for foot access for hunting and fishing.
  • Forest Legacy Program Forest Legacy logoThe Forest Legacy Program seeks to protect privately owned and environmentally significant forest land from being converted to non-forest uses. This program is a strictly voluntary program and involves the acquisition of land in fee ownership or rights in land through a conservation easement. If a conservation easement is acquired, the land remains in private ownership but does provide for public access. The Forest Legacy Program encourages partnerships with local governments and land trusts, recognizing the important contributions that private landowners, local communities, and environmental organizations make to forest conservation efforts.