The dome of a building framed by tree branches.
Michigan State Capitol Dome Michigan State Capitol Dome © Michael D-L Jordan/dlp

Stories in Michigan

Policy Priorities

TNC is working with state leaders to find meaningful solutions to issues impacting Michigan's lands and waters.

In Michigan, from farms to freshwater, from wetlands to the Great Lakes, and from cities to forests, we are working to make tangible progress on the most pressing threats to our world today. The policies and management choices of our legislature, state and federal agencies and local partners have a direct impact on achieving the progress we all seek.

Latest News

View the latest news on top conservation issues in Michigan.


Our Approach

We are committed to finding solutions and working with our many partners to ensure that our lands and waters remain healthy and continue to provide for people and nature in a changing world. 

The topics listed below showcase our goals for Michigan. To learn more about how we plan to achieve them, download our policy priorities

2021 Policy Priorities

Read how science and research are driving our policy priorities.


Protecting Our Great Lakes and Coastal Communities

Vibrant Great Lakes are vital to Michigan’s economy and way of life. Stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species, maintaining and improving water quality and helping our coastal communities adapt to changing water levels will protect our Great Lakes and those who rely on them for their livelihoods and leisure.

  • A person holds a measuring device up to a rusty crayfish.

    Prevent Establishment of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes

    Stop harmful Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) at Brandon Road Lock and Dam, without burdening maritime commerce. Manage the ecological and economic harm imposed by established AIS.

  • Waves crash along the shore.

    Improve Coastal Resilience

    Encourage coastal communities and property owners to use nature-based infrastructure to improve coastal resilience to changing water levels.

  • A trout swims through the water.

    Strengthen Great Lakes Fisheries and Coastal Communities

    Promote healthy, diverse and productive Great Lakes fisheries that support the economic and recreational needs of coastal communities. Learn about fisheries.

Advancing a Low-Carbon Future

Nature is our ally in managing the impacts of a changing climate and abating the negative impacts of greenhouse gas emissions. Conservation, restoration and improved land management increase carbon storage and build environmental resiliency to the effects of a changing climate.
  • Water in the foreground. The tree line of a forest is in the distance.

    Lower Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    Collaborate with our federal and state policymakers to promote innovative technologies and adopt sensible strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to help our ecosystems adapt to a changing climate. Learn about climate solutions.

  • A person looks up at a tree in the autumn.

    Increase Protection of Resilient Lands and Waters

    Prioritize conservation of resilient lands and waters that will enable plants and animals to adjust to climatic shifts. Learn about forest restoration.

  • A path through a forest.

    Use Our Forests to Capture Carbon

    Reduce greenhouse gases by increasing adoption of forest management programs designed to sequester carbon and develop markets to encourage landowners’ participation.

Improving How We Manage Our Farms and Forests 

Our working lands, farms and forests offer more than just a resource-based livelihood in Michigan. By helping land managers advance their stewardship of our farmlands and woodlands, we will benefit from cleaner water, reduced risk of diseases and pests, increased weather resiliency and richer outdoor experiences. 

  • Looking up at the treetops. Blue sky and clouds peak through the openings.

    Manage Forests Sustainably

    Increase the commercial and ecological value of commercial-scale forests by assisting landowners with developing and testing management practices to increase species diversity, pest resistance and potential for carbon storage. Learn about resilient forests.

  • River twists through a farm field.

    Expand the Use of Healthy Soil Practices

    Help farmland owners and managers integrate soil health and nutrient management practices into their farming systems to increase soil, nutrient and carbon retention. Learn about soil solutions.

Safeguarding Our Fresh Water

Sitting at the heart of the Great Lakes, Michigan has vast freshwater resources. From fisheries to farmlands, TNC works to ensure the resilience of systems that provide Michiganders with food and livelihoods, while also protecting a clean, abundant and accessible water supply by advancing sustainable policies and practices.
  • Child splashes their feet in a water puddle.

    Promote Healthier Privately Owned Water Systems

    All Michigan households are able to maintain their private-drinking water wells and septic systems so that they do not compromise our state’s freshwater resources.

  • A stream runs through a grassy fen, surrounded by trees.

    Manage Water Withdrawals With Up-To-Date Data

    Use mapping and modeling tools that integrate hydrologic, geologic and geographical data to review withdrawal proposals. Confirm that Michigan’s Water Withdrawal Assessment Program meets the standards outlined in state law and regional agreements.