MICHIGAN DNR SEEKS INPUT ON OLD GROWTH/BIODIVERSITY |
LANSING--The Michigan Department of Natural Resources
is seeking public comment on criteria and guidelines to be
used for identifying old growth and biological diversity
areas on state-owned lands.
The DNR has formed a public advisory committee, consisting
of representatives of industry and environmental groups,
that will provide formal recommendations on this process,
but the department also seeks input from other interested
individuals. The public comment period ends Feb. 28, 2002.
"Old growth" describes an ecological condition where
forest vegetation is dominated by trees in the mature stages
of their life cycle. Michigan's old growth, however,
consists of more than just big trees. The state's diverse
forest landscape contains a variety of species and
"Maintaining a healthy diversity of ecosystems,
species and genetic material is an important aspect of good
resource management," said Cara Boucher, DNR Forest Resource
Management Section Manager. "The intent of the old growth
and biodiversity stewardship process is to identify parcels
of state land that represent these varying conditions."
The report, released earlier this year by the Natural
Resources Commission, is entitled "Proposed Old Growth and
Biodiversity Stewardship Planning Process and Draft Criteria
for Michigan's State Forests and Other State-Owned Lands."
The 42-page document is available on the DNR Web site at
request a paper copy, contact Margaret Spagnuolo at 517-335-
3352; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public comments may be sent via e-mail to DNR-FMFM-
OGBS@michigan.gov, or mailed to the DNR Forest, Mineral and
Fire Management Division, c/o Old Growth and Biodiversity
Stewardship, Box 30452, Lansing, MI 48909.
Once the draft criteria and guidelines are approved,
the process will move forward to identify and select state-
owned land that could be included in an old growth and
biodiversity stewardship network. This selection phase also
will include opportunities for public involvement at the
state, regional and local level.
For more information on the old growth and
biodiversity stewardship planning process, contact Richard
Hausler at 517-335-3351; e-mail: email@example.com.