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Northern Lower Peninsula Deer Private Land Assistance Network (NLP Deer PLAN)

Grants to Michigan Agencies, Organizations, and Landowners
in Eligible Counties to Manage Deer Population and Habitat

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Deadline Date:

02/28/21 11:59 PM EST


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Grants of up to $15,000 to Michigan conservation districts and organizations, landowners, and sportsmen groups in eligible counties to improve the quality of deer territory and hunting access on privately owned lands. Funding is intended to reduce agricultural damage caused by deer and to reduce the transmission of deer-borne diseases. All 2021 project areas must fall within the following focus area counties: Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Presque Isle.

All projects must attempt to address these objectives in order to be considered for approved funding:

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

In 2021, 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. 

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).

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. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174329

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant proposals requesting a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $15,000 in funding from the DNR will be considered.

Term of Contract:

Approved projects will start immediately. All projects are required to be fully completed or have specified contractual deliverables completed by Sept. 30, 2021.

Applicants interested in applying for a multiple year project may do so if they can demonstrate completing a portion of the project each year. Multiple year funding is not guaranteed based on acceptance of the first year’s application. Applicants must also be willing to reapply each year of the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible to participate in this grant program an application must be submitted from a conservation organization, sportsperson group, non-governmental organizations, local Conservation District(s), or a landowner.

Conservation organizations may be local chapters of state, regional or national groups. Eligible applicants must provide a federal tax number or social security number in order register with the State of Michigan to facilitate grant funding. A partner organization must name a project contact person/representative and include appropriate contact information on the application. Eligible partner organizations may apply for funding for multiple projects in a fiscal year, each of which will be evaluated independently. Eligible partner organizations may not apply for funding for unspecified projects or purposes.

State owned lands are not eligible for NLP Deer PLAN funding in 2021. Currently, there are existing mechanisms for partnerships between the DNR and external partners to enhance state land wildlife habitat. If you are interested in partnering on state lands, you should contact the respective local wildlife biologist to explore feasibility.

Specific activities that will not be considered are:
- Plantings of exotic or invasive species;
- Commercial timber sale preparation, and construction of ponds
- Proposals that: 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 will not be considered; Planting of trees for the specific purposes of aesthetics or wind breaks.

Pre-Application Information:

Proposal applications are due electronically by 11:59pm, February 28, 2021.

Successful applicants will be notified by March 17, 2021.

Required partner cost share for approved projects is 25 percent of total costs.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Email applications to:

For technical questions regarding the NLP Deer PLAN Grant Handbook, contact:

Ashley Autenrieth, Deer Program Biologist
Gaylord DNR Operations Service Center
1732 W M-32
Gaylord, MI 49735
989-732-3541 Ext. 5044

For questions regarding habitat in Alcona, Crawford, and Oscoda counties, contact:

Brian Piccolo, Wildlife Biologist
Roscommon DNR Operations Service Center
8717 N. Roscommon Road
Roscommon, MI 48653
989-275-5151 Ext. 2030

For questions regarding habitat in Alpena, Montmorency, and Presque Isle counties, contact:
Shelby Hiestand, Wildlife Biologist
Atlanta DNR Field Office
13501 M-33 North
Atlanta, MI 49709
989-785-4251 Ext. 5230

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Michigan: Alcona, Alpena, Crawford, Montmorency, Oscoda, and Presque Isle Counties

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