MFA Properties – The Legacy of Fred Prince & Forests for the Future

The Michigan Forest Association(MFA) exists to represent and inform Michigan forest owners and Michigan citizens who love our forests, about the many facets of sustainable forest management.  We are a a non-profit organization, created over 40 years ago in 1972, to help private forest owners understand and sustainably manage their forests.  Michigan has more forest land than any other state in the Northeast or Midwest.  Small, family forest owners as a group, own 45% of the forest land in Michigan (9.1 million of 20.3 million acres)!  Michigan forests and family forest owners are important in providing jobs and economic opportunity in Michigan, as well as wildlife habitat, recreational and tourism opportunities and a family legacy.  Mr. Fred Prince was closely associated with Michigan Forest Association and when he passed away in 2011, six of his many properties were bequeathed to the MFA for the purposes of educational demonstration and to be managed sustainably and responsibly.

Fred Prince was a man who loved forests.  It has been said that Fred’s greatest passion and life’s work was enveloped around the reforestation of the state.  He was so driven by his passion that he invested in over 12,000 acres of Michigan property in order to make a difference.  Fred worked hand in hand with foresters to prepare plans for these properties, and to manage them so that they were even better for future generations.  He had no taste for “cut and run”, but preferred to move slowly and manage the land for forest health, research and forest system vitality. He formed a non-profit organization called Forests for the Future and deeded all his properties to it.

Following Fred’s death in 2011, the board of directors of Forests for the Future decided to donate their land holdings to other entities, rather than try to duplicate their educational and management efforts  Six of these properties were deeded to MFA.  Fred Prince’s legacy of stewardship for his forests is a testament to his vision and a gift to us all.

“We are grateful to Mr. Prince for his foresight and dedication to sustainable forestry, and to Forests for the Future for their generosity and confidence in MFA to carry on his legacy of good forest management.”   John MacInnis, President, MFA

MFA has a committee of both foresters and non-foresters to make management decisions regarding the properties.  Chair of this Committee is Bill Botti, the retired Executive Director of MFA.  Other committee members are:  John MacInnis, Bill Cook, Debra Huff, Georgia Peterson, Jake Shinners and Lisa Parker.

Our Gift from Fred Prince

  • There are six properties – from Isabella County as the furthest south to Gogebic County as the furthest North.

  • Each property has it’s own page. We will post photos, the forest management plan for the property, and any other information relevant to the property.

  • We will manage these lands to the best of our ability, to produce forest systems that are healthy and improved for future generations. We will have timber sales if needed to enhance the forest type, but will seek to use every opportunity to share the process and the challenges we faced in the land management. This is a unique opportunity to share our experiences with all citizens of Michigan, as they try to understand how to manage their forest lands, or understand why things are done the way they are.

  Acres Forest Type
Clare property 40 Oak – Pine – Aspen
Isabella County 40 Oak-Aspen
Emmett 1 40 Hardwood
Emmett 2 40 Hardwood – Pine
Iron 40 Hardwood – wet
Gogebic 80 Hardwood – mesic