Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Habitat Improvement Grant Program (Deer PLAN)

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Suggest an update

Grant amount: US $2,000 - US $10,000

Anticipated deadline: Sep 1, 2020 8:59pm PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit Indigenous Group Government Entity College / University

Funding uses: Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Michigan: Alcona County, Alpena County, Crawford County, Montmorency County, Oscoda County Show all

Location of residency: United States

View website    Save Need help writing this grant?


Program Objective(s)

The Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Private Land Assistance Network (NLP Deer PLAN) is a grant program designed to produce tangible deer habitat improvements, foster productive relationships between the DNR, sportsmen's organizations and private landowners, increase deer availability to public and private land hunters, reduce transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis and agricultural damage caused by deer and encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis. This grant program is targeted for implementation in the Northern Lower Peninsula (NLP).


The purpose of the NLP Deer PLAN is to develop a collaborative approach to deer habitat improvement on private land ownerships in the NLP. There are five primary objectives for this program. All projects must attempt to address these objectives in order to be considered for approved funding: 

  • To produce and/or improve tangible on-the-ground deer habitat (summer and/or winter range) in the project focus area.
  • To increase partnerships between the DNR, sportsmen's organizations, private landowners, agricultural producers and other partners.
  • To increase deer availability to hunters on both public and private land.
  • To reduce transmission of Bovine Tuberculosis and agricultural damage caused by deer.
  • To encourage the harvest of deer, especially antlerless deer and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis.

Examples of desired habitat improvement projects include but are not limited to:

  • wildlife opening creation, rehabilitation, or existing opening maintenance;
  • increasing hard or soft mast by planting mast bearing shrubs or trees;
  • non-commercial timber stand improvement activities;
  • direct mechanical habitat manipulation (e.g. regeneration of aspen or alder habitat) 

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • To be eligible to participate in this program, an application may be submitted from a:
    • conservation organization, 
    • sportsperson group, 
    • non-governmental organization,
    • local Conservation District(s), or
    • private landowner.
  • Any project with a primary goal of producing tangible deer habitat improvements on private land while helping to mitigate crop damage and decrease the spread of Bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) and that will also form a partnership with the DNR. 
  • Geographic Focus:
    • This competitive program will have a focus area within the Northern Lower Peninsula.
    • All project areas must fall within the following focus area counties:
      • Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Presque Isle.
  • Matching Funds:
    • Required partner cost share for approved projects is 25 percent of total costs.


  • The focus of the NLP Deer PLAN is to improve deer habitat on privately owned rural lands.
    • While public access is not required, public access to projects is highly desired and projects with provisions that allow legal public access (e.g. the Hunting Access Program) for hunting of deer will be reflected in the project scoring process.
    • Proximity to active agricultural lands will also be highly desirable in order to assist in reducing negative impacts to agricultural operations and will be reflected in the project scoring process.
    • In addition, the formation of cooperatives or partnerships that include multiple property owners and at least 150 acres between at least two properties will be awarded additional scoring points.
    • Finally, implementing deer management in the form of harvesting and testing of deer for Bovine Tuberculosis will gain additional scoring points.
    • See the NLP Deer PLAN Handbook for more information on scoring criteria.


  • State owned lands are not eligible for NLP Deer PLAN funding. 
  • Specific activities that will not be considered are:
    • plantings of exotic or invasive species;
    • commercial timber sale preparation, and
    • construction of ponds.
  • Proposals that do any of the following will not be considered:
    • increase undesired habitat fragmentation; increase wildlife disease transmission potential;
    • have human safety implications;
    • are contrary to deer management goals; or
    • will have known direct adverse impacts on state or federally listed threatened and endangered species.