Michigan Forestry Programs

Non-industrial private forestland encompasses 57% of Michigan's forested land base. This equates to 11 million acres, which is owned by over 420,000 family forest landowners.

Michigan Conservation Districts and their partners address this significant land base for many reasons. A survey of family forest landowners, conducted by Michigan State University, concluded that only 20% of the 11 million acres was being actively managed. Active management of this land base, whether for recreation, hunting, timber or wildlife is very beneficial.  Conservation Districts work to improve this statistic, for the health of our forests and for the benefit of our family forest landowners and of our state through the following two programs.

Michigan Forestry Assistance Program

Michigan Conservation Disricts across the state provide education and one-on-one technical assistance to private land owners and to communities with assistance on their forest health issues. Professional foresters work out of 20 District offices, providing coverage for 49 counties in the upper and lower peninsulas in Michigan. The program is made available through an agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), with the purpose of providing assistance through Conservations Districts to help Michigan citizens better understand, plan, manage, protect and utilize their forest resources.

The goal of the program is to provide and increase the active management of non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowner outreach and technical assistance through collaboration and cooperation. A survey conducted by Michigan State University of non-industrial private forest landowners concludes that only 20% of the 11 million acre resource is actively managed. The Forestry Assistance Program will work with local Conservation Districts to increase the number of landowners and acres that are managed under a sustainable forest management plan.

The Forestry Assistance Program does not intend to compete with private sector business. Our foresters do not write management plans, administer timber sales, or provide any other service that could otherwise be provided by the private sector.

Click Here for a current map of Conservation Districts with Forestry Assistance Foresters and the counties currently covered through this program.
Click Here to connect to your local Conservation District on the web.

Natural Resource Conservation Service EQIP Program

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) provides natural resources conservation programs to help people reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters.

The NRCS provides financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to address natural resource concerns on nonindustrial private forestland.  The primary focus of the forestland fund pools within EQIP is to address resource concerns on non-industrial private forestland, including but not limited to the Implementation of practices which:

• benefit honey bee populations and other pollinators, 
• improve habitat for aquatic wildlife, 
• result in the management control of noxious or invasive plant species, 
• address wind and water erosion concerns, 
• exclude livestock from forest land or environmentally sensitive areas,   
• establish Conservation Cover, Windbreak/Shelterbelts, Riparian Herbaceous Cover, Riparian Forest Buffer, Filter Strip, Tree/Shrub Establishment, Forest Stand Improvement.

NRCS Environmental Quality Incentives Program Page

This material is based upon work supported by the Natural resource Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture under Agreement # 68-5D21-14-17.  Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.