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Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

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In 1976, Michigan became the first state in the nation to establish a land trust fund specifically subsidized by revenues generated from the oil and gas industry. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a significant way for every Michigan resident and visitor to benefit from an active oil and gas production from state owned minerals.

Since its inception, the Fund has financed the acquisition and/or improvement of over 1,500 recreational projects, with appropriations of more than $700 million throughout the state. No matter where you live or may visit, you’re just steps away from a project that has benefited from Michigan’s petroleum exploration and production industry through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The historic commitment to our natural resources was spearheaded in the 1970’s by the Michigan Oil and Gas Association (MOGA), the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR). Oil and gas industry leaders, environmentalists, conservationists and recreation groups have hailed the Fund as significant investment in Michigan’s natural resource heritage. Money is distributed based on the fund’s six program goals:

  1. Protecting natural resources 
  2. Providing public access to Michigan waterways 
  3. Improving outdoor recreation in urban areas 
  4. Stimulating Michigan’s economy through recreation-related tourism
  5. Meeting community needs for outdoor recreation 
  6. Investing funds in projects that will yield the best long-term public recreation return

Among hundreds of projects funded by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund are: purchasing 70 miles of river frontage and more than 25,000 acres along two of the nation’s op trout streams (the Au Sable and the Manistee); helping the City of St. Joseph acquire 22 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline for Sliver Beach County Park; assisting Banks Township in Antrim County in obtaining more than 150 acres (including nearly a mile of frontage on Grand Traverse Bay); gaining 10,000 area of underdeveloped land in Mackinac county, including more than five miles of Lake Michigan frontage; acquiring the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, and assisting in the acquisition for public use of Manistee County’s CMS Arcadia/Green Point Dunes area.

The Michigan Oil and Gas Association and its members are committed to enhancing all of Michigan’s natural resources – oil and gas reserves, wetlands and water, land and minerals. Our state’s thriving oil and gas industry provides tangible benefits so every Michigan resident and visitor can enjoy those natural resources that make the Great Lakes State so special.