Pledge by Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Planting 50 Million Trees in the Great Lakes StateTotal Trees Pledged: 50,050,000
Supporting actions: Sustainable Forestry, Avoided Deforestation, Nursery Development, Science and Technical Assistance, Tree Protection through Management, Forest Product Markets and Innovation, Workforce Development, Environmental Education, Conservation Finance, Urban and Community Forestry,
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) intends to be a cooperative partner in achieving a global goal of restoring and growing one trillion trees by 2030.
Michigan’s pledge, known as MiTrees, aims to inspire people to plant trees. But it’s more than just a tree planting campaign – it’s a spark to raise awareness about the importance of trees, reflect on Michigan’s rich forest history and build capacity to grow forests and communities. Planting a tree is the first step to setting the foundation for continued conservation of the forest and freshwater ecosystems we share with the generations of today and tomorrow.
Now is the time for trees – plant it forward!
Michigan DNR has worked with regional and national organizations on behalf of the residents of Michigan to help them harness the full range of environmental and economic benefits from trees and forests. The DNR pledges to continue to work with cooperative partners of 1t.org to connect tree planting and restoration opportunities with professionals who can ensure that trees will both survive and thrive in Michigan.
Michigan’s 10 million residents and tourists alike enjoy access to four Great Lakes and benefit from the longest freshwater coastline in the United States. Michigan is home to 11,000 inland lakes and 120 major rivers, all filtered through over 20 million acres of forestland.
With more than 62 percent of Michigan’s forests privately owned, technical assistance will be integral to the success of 1t.org. Michigan DNR pledges to continue its commitment to sustainable forestry and stewardship, restoration of forest wetlands and headwater forests, soil and water conservation, tree planting and maintenance, forest markets, urban and community forestry, wildfire reduction, and trees as an important buffer against climate change and protection of one of the largest freshwater systems on Earth.
Metrics (trees, acres, dollars, carbon, etc): more than 50 million trees, with a potential carbon impact estimated at 13.4 million tons CO2.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Forest Resources Division will continue to work with a wide range of national, regional, state, and local partners from all sectors—government, nonprofit, and private—to secure the resources to meet its pledged goal of 50 million trees by 2030. We also pledge to take advantage of new opportunities that arise to meet our goals.
Acres: 400,000 / Trees: 0
Michigan’s DNR is certified by two independent, outside organizations: Forest Stewardship Council and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. The state plants up to 6 million trees each year in state forests and continues to monitor and develop ways to ensure natural regeneration is successful. An average 38,225 acres per year have undergone natural regeneration since 2015.
Michigan has more than 20 million acres of forests, and that number trends upward as reforestation outpaces deforestation. The DNR won an award in 2017 from Forest Stewardship Council for its early buy-in on responsible forestry practices on state lands. Management Plans are updated regularly with review and input from staff and stakeholders including industry professionals and citizens of the state.
Michigan’s 17 private and two public seedling nurseries grow 44 million seedlings annually and have capacity to almost double production to 81 million. Considering exports to other states, 21 million seedlings stay in Michigan every year. In addition, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Michigan sells 2 million Christmas trees annually.
SCIENCE AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
The Forest Resources Division’s Resource Assessment Section created a suite of interactive maps to provide the public with information related to the Forest Action Plan’s landscape assessment. It also updated the Great Lakes Stream Crossing Protocol that is now used in Michigan and by other Great Lakes states. GIS data and technology also are used to analyze and report information that informs better decision-making for forest management (for example, tree equity, canopy cover).A Partnership for Ecosystem Research and Management (PERM) with Michigan State University Forestry facilitates collaboration and resource sharing between the DNR and MSU Forestry. This agreement supports needed research in urban and community forestry and forest genetics that will inform and guide better forest management and planning in the future. A multi-division Climate Sprint Team exists and is tasked with identifying and implementing programs that will help Michigan reach economic carbon neutrality by 2050. Pilot projects are under way to build solar arrays on state land unsuitable for timber production and to leverage the carbon storage capacity of state forests through the sale of carbon offset credits generated from sustainable forest management practices.
TREE PROTECTION THROUGH MANAGEMENT
The DNR is a leader in cooperative efforts to battle invasive species and diseases that affect Michigan’s forests. A task force is detecting and treating Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in trees along the west Michigan coast in a cooperative effort with federal, state, and local entities. Efforts also exist to identify and eradicate oak wilt and Heterobasidion root disease in state forests. Creating fire breaks also has been a key project in the northern Lower Peninsula. Michigan continues to cooperate with federal scientists to develop and plant disease-resistant beech trees in Ludington State Park, where beech bark disease was first discovered in the state. Michigan is committed to working with Arbor Day Foundation Tree USA programs, including on tribal lands. The Arbor Day Foundation granted more than $775,000 in tree-planting funds to Michigan during fiscal year 2021.
FOREST PRODUCT MARKETS AND INNOVATION
Michigan DNR has several staff in the marketing and utilization program who support forest product markets and innovation. Urban wood utilization is a growing sector of the larger forest product industry. Michigan is attracting new forest products industries and has potential to expand into new sectors such as urban wood utilization and biomass.
The DNR has worked to promote education and awareness of mass timber construction, co-hosting a seminar on the topic and plans to replace its current Newberry facility with a mass timber building.
Michigan’s $21 billion forest products industry supports more than 90,000 jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reports that between 2020-2030 entry level jobs (planting, trimming, pruning, etc.) in urban forestry will increase by 10%. The Forestry Resources Division offers regular employment and internship opportunities in tree and forest management. The DNR supports efforts to educate people and offer training in forest-related employment efforts such as Project Learning Tree GreenJobs. It works with Michigan State University in efforts to train urban foresters and recruit forest technicians.
Michigan DNR supports environmental education by partnering with the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education and has been committed to supporting and promoting environmental education in urban areas through partnerships with Michigan Arbor Day Alliance, ReLeaf Michigan, and Greening Detroit for more than 25 years. Forest Resources Division oversees Project Learning Tree, an award-winning national environmental education program. Project Learning Tree curriculum uses forestry to empower educators and inspire youth to think critically about the environment. Transportation grants are provided to schools through our Wheels to Woods program which has allowed nearly 38,000 children to visit public forests, Tree Farms, and forest product companies in their communities over the past five years.
Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund projects provide for natural resource protection and outdoor recreation. By law, no less than 25 percent of the Trust Fund amount available for annual appropriation can be used for acquisition of public land and no less than 25 percent of the Trust Fund can be used for development of public recreation facilities. Final grant recommendations are made by the MNRTF Board to the state legislature for final approval.
URBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY
The Urban and Community Forestry Program brings the benefits of trees to Michigan communities through planning and partnership. Assistance is provided to support forest management activities, policy development and education that promotes conservation and maintenance of urban trees and forests around the state. As part of this pledge, the UCF program will work with communities to establish tree canopy goals, increase urban tree canopies, provide technical urban forestry assistance to municipalities, and collaborate with partner organizations to educate, train and conduct research on issues that relate to urban forestry and arboriculture best management practices.
To ensure responsible and equitable forestry in Michigan, appropriate policies, plans and resources must be developed, shared, and implemented. The DNR, working with our partners, has identified the following strategies to help achieve sustainable health and function of trees and forests for all:
- Provide urban forestry and arboriculture education and training to citizens, students, and professionals to build local capacity to manage and maintain trees and forests
- Provide assistance and promote participation in the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City, Tree Campus, Tree Line programs to all communities and partners
- Promote awareness of Tree Equity and related tools to inform citizens and elected officials of the need to balance tree planting and canopy cover for shared benefits
- Incorporate and promote the use of urban wood into community forestry and community climate plans and the forest product markets
- Provide communities with tools and assistance to assess, manage and enhance local urban forest resources and set appropriate targets and goals to address climate, canopy, and equity issues
- Engage youth and diverse audiences in forestry awareness, education, and careers by providing and promoting opportunities like Wheels to Woods transportation grants, job shadowing, Arbor Day, Project Learning Tree, Smokey Bear, School Forests, college degrees and certifications, internships, and career days
13.4 million tons CO2 est.