Timber Taxes

Michigan's 10-year Forest Action Plan currently being drafted

The plan is required for states to qualify for federal funding programs

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is seeking comments and reactions for its 10-year Forest Action Plan, which it released on August 17. The plan is required of states by the federal government to qualify for funding of government programs and is due by the end of 2020.

The draft plan includes a review of the conditions in Michigan’s 19.3 million acres (of which almost ⅔ are privately owned). The plan notes that 76% of private landowners hold less than 50 acres while only 1% own more than 500 acres. Some 23% own between 50-499 acres.

The risk that climate change could cause to forests runs through the report. Climate change could cause an increase in insects and diseases from warmer and wetter weather. There is also a risk of “regeneration failure”, according to the report.

“Warmer winters make it challenging to conduct logging and trucking that require frozen soil to support equipment,” according to the report.

According to the wetland assessment in the report, the state land in that category increased by 17.7% during the past 10-year period.

Leaders from a number of different forest constituencies contributed to the report, according the DNR. “We’re looking at a plan that gets everybody on the same page regarding a wide range of priorities,” said Jeff Stampfly, acting chief of the DNR’s Forest Resources Division, which produced the Forest Action Plan.

To read the draft report go to:

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/Forest_Action_Plan_Draft_699219_7.pdf?utm_source=govdelivery

The Wisconsin draft 10-year report was released in March. It cited similar issues including risks to forests from climate change, and a similar increase in smaller forest parcels. Here is the Forest Data Network story about the Wisconsin report:

https://www.forestdatanetwork.com/news/wisconsins-strategic-forest-plan-being-drafted-garnering-feedback

Subscribe to Forest Data Network index price reports (including recently-launch Michigan reports) to stay abreast of developing changes throughout 2020 and beyond.

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