Sustaining Michigan's Water and Natural Resources
This requires balancing the needs of current stakeholders with the needs of future generations. Research and outreach covers a range of issues designed to help state and local decision makers better plan for the future use of Michigan's natural resources, including better understanding of environmental resources (such as ecological, water quality, habitat, and ecosystem implications of land use) enhancing the performance of land-based industries, and helping to shape the future of forestry, mining, agriculture, and tourism.
Picture Michigan Tomorrow
The focus of Picture Michigan Tomorrow (PMT) is to develop new models of future land use to raise the general understanding of what the state could look like in 20 to 40 years. More than computer modeling to create pictures, the program is committed to translating the images into relevant information for Michigan's citizens and businesses.
With the future of land use in Michigan a key to the state's future economic health, quality of life, and environmental sustainability, PMT works to articulate problems related to land use in more accessible terms, and with less jargon and fewer abstract concepts.
PMT is building a robust, scalable, econometric model of future land consumption in Michigan that incorporates the history of land use change, the primary drivers of land use change in Michigan, and new aerial imagery to forecast future land use patterns.
Outputs will be both spatial and statistical forecasts, scaleable to the municipal level. The forecasts will be used to develop detailed reports on the impacts of land use change to federal, state, and local decision makers.
Decision makers will also be able to look at multiple planning scenarios to evaluate the impact of policy changes. This effort will form a foundation for understanding land use change in Michigan and a hierarchical planning and visualization tool for local, regional, and state planners, as well as provide data and analysis to the research community.
High Priority Topics (Ongoing*)
LPI has given the highest priority to research and outreach on the following topics within the area of Sustaining Michigan's Water and Natural Resources:
- Information on watershed and ecosystem function and requirements with a focus on fragmentation and parcelization.*
- Long-term policies to sustain water and natural resources, especially in coastal zones.*
- Interdependence of variables and studies (systems approach).*
- Effective management of watersheds (technical assistance).
- Social and ecological management of the Great Lakes (ecosystem approach).
- Economic viability and social equity.
- Water supply, demand, quality and constraints to development, including ecosystem requirements.
- Water diversion from the Great Lakes basin.
- Habitat protection for aquatic and terrestrial species.
- Inter-relationship between land-based industries (competitiveness and sharing opportunities).
- Waste reduction, reuse, and recycling.
Sustaining Natural Resources Initiatives
Projects funded by or spurred by the Land Policy Institute in the areas of Sustaining Michigan's Water and Natural Resources are as follows:
- Partnership for Economic Impact Studies and Strategic Planning for Conservation Research. Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy and Land Policy Institute.
- Natural Resource Land Use Ordinances: A Case Study of Woodlands Ordinances in Michigan.
Larry Leefers, Forestry, MSU.
- Youth, Sense of Place, and Land Policy Engagement. Shari L. Dann, Fisheries and Wildlife, MSUE.
- Green Infrastructure - Next Steps. Greg Northrup, West Michigan Strategic Alliance.
- The Great Waters: Where Nature, Economy, and Community Come Together. Dennis West, Northern Initiatives.
- Growing Greener in Southwest Michigan. Marcy Colclough, Southwest Michigan Commission.
- Connecting Michigan: Planning for the Future of Michigan's Trail System. Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance and RS&GIS, MSU.
- Driving Factors Associated with Fragmentation and Parcelization in a Developing Michigan Landscape. Larry Leefers, Forestry, MSU.
- Integrating Ecological, Economic and Social Dimensions for Sustainable Management of Michigan's Jack Pine Resource. David Rothstein, Forestry, MSU.
- Modeling the Cumulative Effects of Aspen Management Practices on Wildlife Species, Communities, and Habitat Suitability at Multiple Spatial Scales. Henry Campa III, Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU.
- Deer and Vegetation in Working Forests: Evaluating Herbivory and Sedge Competition Effects on Vegetation Dynamics and Testing Possible Restoration Treatments. Michael Walters, Forestry, MSU.
- Development of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Trail Network. Jim Lucas, Chippewa County MSUE.
- Computational Computer for the Quantitative Analyses and Visualization of Pore Networks within the Soil Matrix. Alvin J.M. Smucker, Crop and Soil Sciences, MSU.
- Modeling Socioeconomic Data Sources and Land use Coefficients to Estimate Impervious Surfaces for Non-point Source Pollution Watershed Monitoring. Jessica J. Moy, Geography, Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Science, Research, and Outreach Services, MSU.
- Contested Community Landscapes: Mitigating Natural Resource Conflict between Culture and User Groups in Michigan. Diane M. Doberneck, Community and Economic Development Program and Bailey Scholars Program, MSU.
- Collaborative Identification of Research Priorities on the Effects of Prescribed Fire in the Southern Lake States. Gary Rolloff, Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU.
- Investing in the Potential of Small Private Forests. Donna Stine, Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
- The Role of Corporate Timberland Ownership Change in Land Use, Conservation, and Local Prosperity in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. National Wildlife Federation; Larry Leefers, MSU, and Robert Froese, MTU.
Select Community Impacts
- A one-stop shop for information about Michigan's trails and greenways will soon be available to all residents and users of Michigan's green space at michigantrails.org.
- Students worked directly with Ingham County Parks Department to use GPS and GIS technologies to map major utilities and recreational facilities within Burchfield and Lake Lansing parks. Products included a database of features and multiple color maps. Sarah Nicholls and Robert Goodwin, MSU.
- John Kerr from MSU's Department of Community, Agriculture Recreation and Resource Studies provided the Little Forks Conservancy, Cedar River watershed in Midland County with an analysis of how to raise the cost-effectiveness of land conservancy acquisitions.