Department of Natural Resources
Funding for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) supports programs for wildlife and fisheries management, state parks and recreation areas, conservation and law enforcement, and forest management. The governor’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2016 recommends total fundingof $389.5 million, of which $39.8 million is general fund. The recommendation for fiscal year 2017 is$381.0, of which $39.5 is general fund.
Highlights of Governor’s Budget Recommendation
• The fiscal year 2016 Executive Recommendation continues the governor’s focus on the conservation, protection, management, accessible use and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources.
• The governor recommends a $2.2 million increase in available federal funds to be used to support the restoration, conservation, management and enhancement of wildlife habitat. Hunters, trappers, and other outdoor recreation enthusiasts will benefit from increased wildlife management on public and private lands through habitat expansion, restoration, and improvement.
• The fiscal year 2016 recommendation includes $8.5 million ($250,000 general fund) one-time funding.
o $4 million (federal, private and general fund) will support expanded recreational shooting opportunities via the construction of new ranges and improvements to existing ranges in twelve priority areas across the state. Projects will focus on those that increase safety and improve shooting opportunities.
o $4 million Forest Development Funds will be strategically invested in technology and equipment enhancements in an effort to expand the growth of the forest economy.
o $500,000 Local Public Recreation Facilities Funds will provide grants to local communities to improve recreation opportunities.
• A total of $12.2 million is recommended for infrastructure improvements in Michigan’s state parks and recreation areas that welcome 22 million visitors each year. This includes $1.5 million general fund savings that is achieved with the replacement of a like amount of Park Endowment Funds.
• The Executive Budget includes an additional $2.8 million general fund savings by eliminating funding to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for cormorant control, reducing support for the non-motorized trail initiative due to the availability other grant opportunities, and other technical adjustments.