By STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ McGAVIN
Capital News Service
LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports no negative outcomes from the initial cap on its land ownership of 4.626 million acres statewide, which was implemented by state law in 2012. While some feared that the initial land caps would hurt the DNR’s ability to maintain its lands and achieve its environmental goals, Sen. Tom Casperson, an Escanaba Republican, said that the caps were never meant to harass or limit the department, but simply give it guidelines. “It has been irrelevant because we had put some grace that allowed the department to keep buying. The intent was to not cut them off but set up a parameter,” said Casperson. “Right now, there’s 20,000 acres still left and the cap hasn’t held anything up — it’s just more that it’s there.“
DNR public information officer Ed Golder said that although the initial land cap has yet to hurt the department, it continues to work with the Legislature to avoid being limited in future land management.