NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 451 of 1994
324.51113 Prohibited use of forestland by owner; exception; denying or inhibiting access for public hunting or fishing; exploration for minerals; removal of commercial mineral deposits, sand and gravel, and oil and gas; exploration for wind energy development.
(1) Except as provided in this section, the owner of forestland that is classified as commercial forest shall not use that land in a manner that is prejudicial to its development as a commercial forest, use the land for agricultural, mineral extraction except as provided in this section, wind energy development except as provided in this section, grazing, industrial, developed recreational, residential, resort, commercial, or developmental purposes, or deny the general public the privilege of hunting and fishing on commercial forestland unless the land is closed to hunting or fishing, or both, by order of the department or by an act of the legislature. If the department determines that the owner of commercial forestland has taken an action that has the effect of denying or inhibiting access to the commercial forestland for public hunting and fishing, except as specifically provided in this part, the department may require withdrawal of the forestland as commercial forest under this part unless the owner corrects that action and allows access to the commercial forestland for public hunting and fishing. If there is not access to a parcel of commercial forestland and the lack of access is not the consequence of an action taken by the owner of commercial forestland, the forestland may remain as commercial forestland if all of the following apply:
(a) There is not a transfer of title for the parcel of commercial forestland, other than as a part of a larger sale of 10,000 or more acres.
(b) The landowner has not taken an action following acquisition of the commercial forestland that has the effect of denying or inhibiting access to the commercial forestland to the public for hunting and fishing.
(c) The commercial forestland is otherwise in compliance with this part.
(2) Exploration for minerals shall be permitted on forestland that is classified as commercial forest under this part. Except as provided in subsections (3) and (4), before the removal of any commercial mineral deposits, the owner shall withdraw the portion of the commercial forestland directly affected by the removal pursuant to section 51108. The withdrawal of commercial forestland due to mineral removal as provided in this section and section 51108 does not require the remaining portion of the commercial forestland to be withdrawn due to insufficient acreage of the remaining commercial forestland.
(3) Upon application to and approval by the department, sand and gravel may be removed from the commercial forestland without affecting the land's classification as a commercial forest. The department shall approve an application to remove sand and gravel deposits only if the removal site is not greater than 5 acres, excluding access to the removal site, and the sand and gravel are to be utilized by 1 or more of the following:
(a) The owner of a commercial forestland for personal use if the owner of the commercial forestland is also the owner of the sand and gravel deposits.
(b) The owner of the sand and gravel deposits for his or her personal use or for sale to the owner of the commercial forestland for personal use, if the owner of the commercial forestland is not also the owner of the sand and gravel deposits.
(c) For sale to this state, a local unit of government, a federal government agency, or a county road commission, for governmental use, or a contractor or other agent undertaking construction, maintenance, or a project for 1 of these governmental entities.
(4) Upon application to and approval by the department, deposits of oil and gas may be removed from the commercial forestland without affecting the land's classification as a commercial forest.
(5) The exploration for wind energy development is permitted on forestland classified as commercial forest under this part pursuant to this subsection. Upon application to and approval by the department, meteorological towers may be erected and wind energy exploration or development leases, easements, or license agreements may be entered into without affecting the land's classification as commercial forest. A landowner may be paid compensation for these leases, easements, and license agreements. Before any wind turbines are erected for the purpose of generating electricity for commercial purposes, the owner shall withdraw the portion of the commercial forest directly affected as follows:
(a) The actual physical footprint of each wind turbine, associated buildings, and adjacent areas that will be permanently removed from forest production shall be removed from the classification as commercial forest.
(b) Forestland under a wind energy development lease, easement, or license agreement where forest production will continue may continue to be classified as commercial forest.
(c) Forestland containing road and utility rights-of-way may continue to be classified as commercial forest.
History: Add. 1995, Act 57, Imd. Eff. May 24, 1995
Am. 2006, Act 383, Imd. Eff. Sept. 27, 2006
Am. 2013, Act 48, Imd. Eff. June 6, 2013
Popular Name: Act 451
Popular Name: NREPA
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