Michigan DNR Again Offering Deer Habitat Grants in Northern Lower Peninsula

July 14, 2022 By: Torin Miller

The Michigan Department of Natural Resource (DNR) recently announced that it is accepting applications for the Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Private Land Assistance Network (NLP Deer PLAN) grant program. The NLP Deer PLAN is a grant program designed to produce tangible deer habitat improvements, foster productive relationships between the DNR, sportsmen’s organizations and private landowners, increase deer availability to public and private land hunters, reduce transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis (Bovine TB) and agricultural damage caused by deer and encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine TB.

The purpose of the NLP Deer PLAN is to develop a collaborative approach to deer habitat improvement on private land ownerships in the NLP. There are five primary objectives for this program. All projects must attempt to address these objectives in order to be considered for approved funding:

  1. To produce and/or improve tangible on-the-ground deer habitat (summer and/or winter range) in the project focus area
  2. To increase partnerships between the DNR, sportsmen’s organizations, private landowners, agricultural producers and other partners
  3. To increase deer availability to hunters on both public and private land
  4. To reduce transmission of Bovine TB and agricultural damage caused by deer
  5. To encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis

To be eligible to participate in this grant program an application must be submitted from a conservation organization, sportsperson group, non-governmental organizations, local Conservation District(s), or a landowner. In 2023, the focus of the NLP Deer PLAN is to improve deer habitat on privately owned rural lands. While public access is not required, public access to projects is highly desired and projects with provisions that allow legal public access (e.g. the Hunting Access Program) for hunting of deer will be reflected in the project scoring process. All 2023 project areas must be within the following focus area counties: Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Presque Isle.

Proposal applications must be postmarked by August 1, 2022, and should be mailed to Wildlife Division, DNR Gaylord Customer Service Center, 1732 West M-32, Gaylord, MI 49735. Successful applicants will be notified by August 31, 2022. Grant proposals requesting a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $15,000 in funding from the DNR will be considered. Required partner cost share for approved projects is 25 percent of total costs.

About Torin Miller:

Torin Miller is a licensed attorney and NDA’s Senior Director of Policy. He works at the intersection of conservation and natural resources law, policy, advocacy and education. He has bachelor's and master's degrees in wildlife and fisheries science from Penn State University and a J.D. from Penn State Law. Torin came to NDA via the National Deer Alliance, where he served as the Policy and Outreach Coordinator.