Michigan’s Commercial Forest Act is a property tax incentive program designed to allow public access to private land and a continuous timber supply. The tax program requires compliance with non-financial provisions including preparation of a forest management plan. The purpose of this study was to determine compliance with the management plan provision among enrolled landowners. Management plans sampled from non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula rarely contained all of the management plan requirements, yet seemed to capture the intent of the law. We categorized management plans as either “basic” or “thorough” based upon the number of requirements and additional information present within management plans. Additional management plan information, such as wildlife habitat and aesthetics, appeared to enhance opportunities associated with public access on listed lands.
Key words: Non-industrial private forest (NIPF), property tax, incentive, timber harvest, compliance, evasion.
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