House panel approves Booher private forestland management bills

LANSING—Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, listens as Rick Lucas, the conservation district forester with Osceola, Lake and Mecosta counties, tells the House Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday about the need to approve Booher’s legislation to help landowners improve the management of their forestlands.

The committee then approved six Senate measures, including Senate Bills 56 and 51. Booher’s measures would allow conservation districts to advise landowners about the value of managing their land for timber harvest, habitat, conservation and recreation; and encourage landowners to enroll in the Qualified Forest Program and actively manage their forestland.

“Only 20 percent of the state’s 11 million acres of private land is actively managed,” Booher said. “The goal of these reforms is to encourage management of Michigan’s private forestlands by helping landowners learn about the advantages of managing their land.” 

SBs 51 and 54-58 now head to the full House for consideration.

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Editor’s Note: The above photograph of Booher and Lucas is available by visiting the senator’s website at: www.SenatorDarwinBooher.com. Click on “Photowire.”