MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law a 9-bill package encouraging private forest land owners in Michigan to enter into the state’s Qualified Forest Program.
Included in the legislation were bills authored by U.P. lawmakers Senator Tom Casperson and Representative Ed McBroom. The program provides property tax incentives for forest land owners to actively manage their land and harvest timber on their property.
Active forest management includes harvesting, habitat improvement and enhanced environmental protection. Currently, only 20 percent of the 11 million acres of privately owned forest lands in Michigan are actively managed. The new law also offers educational and technical assistance for owners who choose to enter the program.
The program is capped at 1.2 million acres but less than 80,000 acres have been enrolled in the program designed to ensure and increase a steady, sustainable supply of timber to an industry that generates $14 billion annually and directly employs 26,000 residents.
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