The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Managed Public Land Strategy was approved last week, removing land purchasing caps for the state of Michigan under legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.
“This unique strategy for managing the state’s plentiful natural resources will benefit residents and visitors alike for generations to come,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “By having solid rules and guidelines for how the state acquires land and what it can do with the land, we are ensuring everyone has fair access to purchase and use the land in Michigan. This is an issue I have been passionate about for years and I am excited to have this framework realized statewide.”
SB 302 and HB 4475, sponsored by Sens. Tom Casperson and Rep. Gary Howell, respectively, provide for legislative approval of the DNR Managed Public Land Strategy and establishes procedures and guidelines for how and when the state can purchase land in Michigan.
Under the new provisions, the state can purchase land, with the following restrictions:
The DNR is required to work with a requesting local government to allow use of state land for outdoor recreation opportunities and expanding access to the land, including removal of berms, gates or other barriers, through an approval process that allows for public hearing and input.
Additionally, SB 303, sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher, expands the allowable use of money in a state “Land Exchange Facilitation Fund” to include activities, surveys, environmental assessments, certain administrative and transaction costs, payments for natural resources management and maintenance, development projects and various assessments paid to other state funds.
The bills are now Public Acts 237, 238 and 239 of 2018.
For more information on this and other legislation, visit www.legislature.mi.gov.