State may shed acres

Michigan officials are considering thinning out some of the 3 million acres of state-owned land.
Alex Doty
May 6, 2013

“There’s 240,000 acres of about 3 million that they’d consider for sale or transferring to other entities because they are smaller parcels,” Ottawa County Parks Director John Scholtz said.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, with the assistance of an advisory group, has created a draft land management plan. It outlines a strategy for the state-managed public lands, and is a requirement under a law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder last year that capped how much land the DNR can acquire for public use.

The plan includes a new strategy for the possible disposal of public lands and promotes increased opportunities in southern Michigan. It also discusses objectives to grow Michigan's natural resources-based economy through the use of state-managed public lands.

"The use and enjoyment of public land for not only recreation, but for natural resources-based businesses, is the focus of this land strategy," DNR Director Keith Creagh said.

Creagh said the plan lays out a “coherent and complete strategy,” with an eye to the immediate future. It is also adaptable to meet emerging trends and shifts in land use and ownership, he said.

Scholtz said he went to one of the public hearings on the draft plan.

“I really think they need to look hard at whether they need to divest themselves of property,” he said. “Decisions involving land are long term.”

Scholtz said Ottawa County did a similar study in the past.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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