Last week the Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced the opening of the application period for the state’s Deer Private Land Assistance Network (Deer PLAN) grant program.

The program was created to develop a collaborative approach to deer habitat improvement on private land ownerships in the state of Michigan.   According to the department’s website, the program is focusing on five main objectives when processing applications:

  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 Tuberculosis and agricultural damage caused by deer
  5. To encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis

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There is $50,000 in available funds for distributed grants totaling between $2,000 and $10,000 in Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties.  The funds allocated for the Deer Plan program are derived from the state’s Deer Range Improvement (DRIP) program, which was created to provide financial support to deer habitat improvement projects across Michigan.

“The focus area concentrates habitat projects in a region to provide greater benefits to deer hunters in areas where habitat issues have been identified,” said DNR Deer Program biologist Ashley Autenrieth.

In years previous, successful applicants were disqualified from receiving the grant again the following year.  That has changed and now those who received funding are now able to re-apply the following year and the program has also been adjusted to accept multiple year applications.

Applications for the program are due electronically by 11:59pm, September 1, 2016.   For more information check out the program guidelines.