Chasing Michigan & Forests: % of Forest Land by County

Since I did the Upper Peninsula awhile back, I wanted to finish the rest of the state of Michigan with the forest stats to show folks what areas are chasable and what areas are not. Why Chasing the Michigan can be difficult: trees, especially in the Northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula. Forests, hills, bad road network, lakes, rivers, swamps. makes it difficult.

Map of Michigan Counties

Example: 97 percent of Keweenaw County is forested.
Forest as a percent of land area: Michigan: Upper Peninsula
NWS Marquette County Warning Area

97% Keweenaw County
94% Baraga County
92% Alger County
92% Gogebic County
89% Iron County
88% Marquette County
86% Luce County
86% Ontonagon County
82% Houghton County
79% Delta County
79% Dickinson County
78% Schoolcraft County
75% Menominee County

Forest as a percent of land area: Michigan: Upper Peninsula
NWS Gaylord County Warning Area

87% Mackinac County
74% Chippewa County

Forest as a percent of land area: Michigan: Northern Lower Peninsula
NWS Gaylord County Warning Area

86% Oscoda
85% Crawford
85% Montmorency
83% Cheboygan
78% Otsego
76% Kalkaska
76% Roscommon
74% Alcona
73% Wexford
69% Emmet
67% Iosco
67% Presque Isle
65% Benzie
64% Manistee
64% Ogemaw
62% Alpena
60% Gladwin
59% Missaukee
53% Antrim
52% Charlevoix
52% Grand Traverse
43% Leelanau
40% Arenac

Forest as a percent of land area: Michigan: Southern Lower Peninsula
NWS Detroit County Warning Area

45% Midland County
21% Livingston County
20% Lapeer County
19% Oakland County
19% St.Clair County
18% Washtenaw County
16% Saginaw County
16% Tuscola County
15% Macomb County
15% Shiawassee County
11% Genesee County
11% Huron County
11% Wayne County
10% Lenawee County
10% Monroe County
08% Sanilac County
07% Bay County

Forest as a percent of land area: Michigan: Southern Lower Peninsula
NWS Grand Rapids County Warning Area

82% Lake County
60% Clare County
58% Newaygo County
50% Mason County
52% Muskegon County
47% Oceana County
43% Osceola County
35% Mecosta County
34% Barry County
32% Montcalm County
28% Van Buren County
26% Allegan County
23% Kent County
21% Isabella County
20% Jackson County
20% Kalamazoo County
22% Ottawa County
17% Calhoun County
12% Eaton County
12% Ingham County
10% Ionia County
08% Clinton County
08% Gratiot County

Forest as a percent of land area: Michigan: Southern Lower Peninsula
NWS North Webster CountyWarning Area

19% St.Joseph County
18% Berrien County
17% Cass County
14% Branch County
12% Hillsdale

Michigan is 51% forested.

Source: US Forest Service

Definition: Forest Land (Source: US Forest Service)
Forest land.--Land at least 16.7 percent stocked by forest trees of any size, or formerly having had such tree cover, and not currently developed for nonforest use. (Note: Stocking is measured by comparing basal area and/or number of trees, by age or size and spacing with specified standards.)

The minimum area for classification of forest land is 1 acre. Roadside, streamside, and shelterbelt strips of timber must have a crown width of at least 120 feet to qualify as forest land. Unimproved roads and trails, streams, or other bodies of water or clearings in forest areas shall be classed as forest if less than 120 feet wide.

Whats interesting, for roadsides, is the width of 120 feet at least to be classify as forest land. I can tell you one thing, a lot of roads have a lot of trees along them, that do not meet this criteria, especially in southern Michigan. Also it does not mention, about trees in cities, which is probably not counted as forest land. People yards in the country, quite often have trees on them do not meet the minimum 1 acre. So when I view the percent of forest land in southern Michigan, I woild say the data is actually underestimating the forest land in southern Michigan.