Land & Resources Management

This section includes information about the Hiawatha's forest planning, current projects and forest resource management and programs.

In keeping with the mission Congress has outlined for the National Forests, the Hiawatha National Forest is managed to provide a wide array of uses and products. 

While visiting you may see management in progress. Some areas are maintained in an open condition, often by use of prescribed fire. In some areas you may see trees being planted, thinned, pruned, or harvested.  And in other areas, you will find Congressionally designated Wildernesses, where natural processes are allowed to unfold and solitude is the order of the day.

The Forest provides diverse habitats for the plant and animal species of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  Forest management is designed to provide habitats for these species, including endangered species like the Kirtland's Warbler and others.


This section includes forest planning, current projects, information about resource management, and available geospatial data.

Here is how we organized our information.

Blowdown area.


Generally planning is at a broad scale, either at the Regional, Forest, or Landscape (Watershed) level. Assessments identify existing conditions, risks, opportunities, and desired future conditions.

The end product does not require a NEPA decision, but is information that feeds into project analysis. The Hiawatha Forest Plan establishes the primary management direction for the entire forest, providing a framework for what we do and where we do it. All other plans tier to the Forest Plan.

Photo: Project Area.


Projects are proposed actions that are analyzed through the NEPA process.Projects are proposed actions that are analyzed through the NEPA process and results in a NEPA decision, which is then implemented on the ground.

Projects that are "Developing Proposal" or "Under Analysis" may have an opportunity for public collaboration and input on the proposed actions and the analysis being conducted.

Timber Sale

Resource Management

In this 3-phase process, this section includes information about actions resulting from the forest’s plans and projects. An example might be the restoration of a stream or a prescribed burn for wildlife purposes.

Timber contract information and forms can be found in this section of the website.

GPSing a trail

GIS Data

Hiawatha National Forest Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data is available to download.
Data is available in ESRI (shapefile) and Google Earth (kml) formats.


Recreation Site Assessment

In 2008, Hiawatha National Forest completed its last required, periodic Recreation Site Assessment (then known as Recreation Facility Analysis or RFA). In 2018, we reviewed our recreation sites again, updating our 5-year plan to incorporate new developments in visitation, budget capacity, and maintenance needs.

Transportation Analysis Process Subpart A: The Road Study

Brown sign that says Road Study Ahead

In its "Subpart A" road study, the U.S. Forest Service studied the risks and benefits for visitors and the environment associated with the road system on the Hiawatha National Forest. Released in 2016, the study was part of the implementation of the 2005 Travel Management Rule, 36 CFR 212. The road study identified a road system that provides access for the public and forest management activities, minimizes environmental impacts, and can be maintained within budget constraints.  To learn more about TAP, click on the blue story title above this text.