Commercial Forest Act Program

The Commercial Forest program provides a property tax reduction to private landowners as an incentive to retain and manage forestland for long-term timber production. Landowners participating in this program pay a reduced property tax of $1.25 per acre listed in the program. Additionally, the State of Michigan pays $1.25 per acre annually to each county where land is listed in the program.

There are approximately 2.2 million acres listed in this program under the ownership of more than 1250 private landowners. Landowners include private individuals, clubs, the forest industry, and other businesses. Landowners in this program agree to develop, maintain and manage the land as a commercial forest through planting, natural reproduction, or other silvicultural practices.

Applications to list land in the program must be postmarked no later than April 1 to be considered for listing in the next tax year.

Stewardship Forest

Lands listed in this program are open to the public for hunting and fishing. The CF lands are not public lands. These lands are private lands under the control of private owners, who through CF allow the public the privilege of hunting and fishing only. The CF lands are not posted or signed as Commercial Forests and may be fenced and/or gated. While permission to hunt fish on CF lands is not required, we recommend you notify the landowner of your intention to do so. It is a courtesy they will appreciate, and it will contribute to your own safety.

Although a person has a right to hunt and fish on these lands, the property is privately owned and subject to normal private property rights.

CFA: Unless you have the permission of the property owner, the right to hunt on the land does not extend to associated activities such as the following:

  • Littering
  • Camping
  • The cutting of shooting lanes, or the cutting or destruction of brush, trees, or other plants for any purpose.
  • The use of nails, bolts, wire, tree steps, or other materials or activities that harm, lessen or destroy the value of trees.
  • The construction of blinds or the construction or placement of other structures, except for the gathering of dead materials found on the ground.
  • Target-shooting or sighting-in firearms.
  • The use of Off-Road Vehicles or other vehicles on private property when prohibited by fencing or posting. If vehicles are allowed, care should be taken to avoid blocking access to roads or parking areas.

A person engaging in an activity not allowed by a property owner may be criminally or civilly liable, or both under the CFA program.