The DNR’s Public Land Management Strategy Plan has been released for public comment and to that end, numerous public meetings have been scheduled. In what may have originally begun as a legislative requirement made necessary to satisfy the terms of the Land Cap legislation, this plan now has the potential to become an implementation document for the other recent strategic plans which include the Statewide Recreational Plan, and those for our Trails, Fisheries and Wildlife. We would encourage all interested in the recreational and economic value of our public lands to attend one or more of the public meetings and, perhaps more importantly, to provide written comment.
If the Public Land Management Strategy Plan is to be used to advance the priorities identified in these companion strategic plans and actually serve as a tool for future local and statewide decision-making, a greater level of detail regarding both future land acquisition and disposal needs to be provided. If we’ve learned nothing else from past DNR attempts at land consolidation, it is this: it is far easier to identify potential parcels for land disposal by looking at a map than it is to secure public support for their disposal. It seems that for nearly every acre of our public places, be it a land-locked 40 acres or a little sliver of ground somewhere, someone out there has developed a deep and personal connection to that very place. To them, “their parcel” is not part of the state’s excess land inventory; it’s their “secret” mushrooming spot or where they’ve located their deer blind for decades, or the reason they purchased the adjacent parcel for their family camp.
We would also encourage public comment to recommend a shift away from the current land acquisition policy which requires the support of local units of government on a parcel-by-parcel basis in favor of a broader plan-based approach. This is a critical and important role that this land plan could and should play.
Meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m. in all locations:
- Tuesday, April 9, at Lookout Lodge, 1712 Scott Lake Road, Waterford
- Wednesday, April 10, at Burnham Brook Community Center, 200 W Michigan Ave., Battle Creek
- Thursday, April 11, at Redding Township Hall, 8391 W. Temple Drive, Harrison
- Monday, April 15, at East Bay Township Hall, 1965 3 Mile Road North, Traverse City
- Tuesday, April 16, at Livingston Township Hall, 3218 N. Old 27, Gaylord
- Wednesday, April 17, Peter White Room in the Don H. Bottum University Center, Northern Michigan University, 1401 Presque Isle Ave., Marquette
- Thursday, April 18, Little Bear East Arena, 275 Marquette St., St. Ignace
- Monday, April 22, Michigan Department of Transportation’s Grand Rapids Transportation, Service Center, 2660 Leonard St. NE, Grand Rapids
- Thursday, April 25, Delta College Planetarium and Learning Center, 100 Center Ave., Bay City
More information and supporting documents can be retrieved from the DNR website by following this link.