State and Federal Forest Policies

This research provides an analysis on state and federal forest policies.

Research Question

This project analyzes state and federal forest management plans and policies to assess the amount of timber that can be harvested, and the approved methods of harvesting.  A full understanding of these policies is necessary for determining how biomass can be sustainably supplied to support a biofuels facility, and how existing policies might affect the biofuels supply chain. Also included is an assessment of state tax policies that encourage the commercial management of private forest land.



The research focused on analyzing the state forest management plan, the federal forest management plans for the federal forests in the study region, the Huron-Manistee and the Hiawatha National Forests, as well as their allied Environmental Impact reports.   The Commercial Forest Program and the Qualified Forest Program were also analyzed.


Progress and Results

The state and federal governments are large landowners of forestland in Michigan.  There is federal and state-owned forest land widely distributed throughout the Eastern Upper Peninsula and Northern Lower Peninsula.

State and federal forests are managed for multiple objectives.  The three overriding objectives are:  preservation of wildlife habitat and wild areas; providing recreational opportunities such as hiking, off-road vehicles and hunting and fishing; and providing forest products.  As a result of some of these potentially conflicting goals not all the land in state and federal forests are available for commercial forest activities.

Michigan also has two tax relief programs, the Commercial Forest Program and the Qualified Forest Program to encourage private landowners to maintain forest land.  In order to qualify for the programs, the land must be managed in accordance to a forest management plan and meet minimum size and timber production criteria.

This research has been completed.