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TwinLake4Wheeler
September 10th, 2009, 07:54 PM
Question to you educated/experienced GLFWDA members:

Is the proposed transfer of forestry programs currently handled by the DNR to Michigan Department of Agriculture a good thing? Bad thing? Doesn't really matter?

I received a flyer in the mail from State Senator Gerald Van Woerkom (34th District) and one of the articles was "Bills shift Michigan forestry program for efficiency".

The last sentence states "at the federal level, forestry programs are operated by the United States Department of Agriculture."

Just wondering what the thoughts are out there about this and if it is something of concern...

timbercruiser
September 11th, 2009, 10:24 AM
Which forestry programs?

TwinLake4Wheeler
September 11th, 2009, 12:56 PM
Which forestry programs?

It was a brief write-up and did not state really any details of what, when or where. I will dig into more this weekend as I am sure there must be more info out there. I am going to see if he has a website and what additional detail there may be.

Jarhead
September 11th, 2009, 03:39 PM
I have to confess the comments are to vague for a position to be taken and I have learned to assume nothing when it comes to government agencies.

TwinLake4Wheeler
September 11th, 2009, 04:59 PM
I have to confess the comments are to vague for a position to be taken and I have learned to assume nothing when it comes to government agencies.

Basically the article in the newsletter caught my attention, so I was curious if this is something worthwhile following to see if it would affect land use in the future.

Here is the article from his website:

Sen. Van Woerkom introduces legislation to transfer forestry programs from the DNR to MDA

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

LANSING — Sen. Gerald Van Woerkom today introduced legislation that would reorganize Michigan forestry programs within state departments to consolidate and make operations more efficient.

Senate Bills 599-603 transfer forestry programs currently handled by the Department of Natural Resources to the Michigan Department of Agriculture.

“During these difficult economic times, state government must provide services more efficiently,” said Van Woerkom, R-Norton Shores. “Transferring management of the state forest system is one way to do this. The Michigan Department of Agriculture already plays a large role with forest programs, and it has a strong track record of managing state resources wisely.”

Under the legislation, the department would manage:

Oversight of the state forestland and the forest finance authority;
Qualified Forest Property program and recapture;
Authority to enter agreement with the federal government on forest land; and
Right to Forest program.
At the federal level, forestry programs are operated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Other states’ agriculture departments, including Wisconsin, also manage their forestry systems.

“The Michigan Department of Agriculture will bring new leadership and fresh ideas for managing and improving our state forests,” Van Woerkom said. “The department will work with all forestry stakeholders and associated industries because it understands the importance that agriculture and the forestry industry serves in Michigan’s economy.”

The bills have been sent to the Senate Agriculture and Bioeconomy Committee, chaired by Van Woerkom, for consideration.

timbercruiser
September 12th, 2009, 09:29 PM
While I'm all for more efficient government, I have no idea if this move would be good or bad.

T-way
September 12th, 2009, 10:51 PM
He can talk about "efficiency" all he wants, but unless the legislature is committed to giving the Michigan Department of Agriculture more MONEY and PEOPLE, there is no way that the agency can take on more regulatory oversight. They've already taken some pretty big hits budget-wise, and have lost people and cut many programs.

Stupid politicians. When will they realize that this is REAL money that they are talking about? Maybe when it comes directly out of THEIR pocket...........

:banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead: :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead: :banghead::banghead::banghead::banghead:

:flipoff:

T-way
September 12th, 2009, 10:53 PM
And just in case anyone's wondering, I meant every one of those :banghead:s, and especially the :flipoff:

Stupid politicians!

Jarhead
September 13th, 2009, 11:57 AM
OH HECK NO!

The DNR may not be the easiest folks to work with, but we certainly do not need another layer of bureaucratic red tape to try and navigate through!

TwinLake4Wheeler
September 13th, 2009, 07:41 PM
And just in case anyone's wondering, I meant every one of those :banghead:s, and especially the :flipoff:

Stupid politicians!

Tell us how you really feel! :thumb:

For what it is worth I have subscribed to his email news letter and will follow this to see what happens. Maybe I will throw a question or two his way asking how this will save us money.

Greenway
September 13th, 2009, 07:46 PM
My initial thoughts are that I oppose it. The DNR currently manages the forests for all of its uses, one of which includes us. If forest management is transferred to the Dept of Agriculture, the forests will become agriculture areas, with preference given to logging purposes. The DoA's purpose is to maximize a sustainable crop yield. The DNR's purpose is to manage for all uses including crop yield.

Make no mistake about it - a forest is a crop.

T-way
September 14th, 2009, 03:26 PM
I see your concern, but the Michigan Department of Agriculture's main concern is not to maximize a sustainable crop. They have many divisions, and many responsibilities, many of which the average person would not immediately think of when they think "agriculture".

And the DNR already seems to be well-versed in the logging ends of things. I'm not really sure what the basis of this potential plan is, other than putting things more in-line with what the Feds do (since the USDA oversees federal forest lands). Guess we'll have to wait until we know more before we get too uptight about it!