top of page


Marquette County has been active in Hazard Mitigation Planning since the early 2000s. The County Hazard Mitigation Plan serves as an extremely detailed resource of hazards in Marquette County, broken down by local community. Each of the 22 Local Units of Government have the opportunity to adopt the FEMA approved plan. Once adopted by the Local Unit, they become eligible for FEMA grant funding to implement the mitigation projects listed within the plan. The County Planning Division assists with this coordination to ensure the Local Units of Government qualify for these important Hazard Mitigation grants.

The intent of the Marquette County Recreation Plan, 2020-2024 is to identify the role of the County’s recreational resources in meeting residents’ recreation needs and to determine the best direction for future improvements to county-owned recreational facilities. It is the County’s intention to enhance local recreational opportunities and not compete with local, state, federal, and private recreation facilities.


The plan was written in accordance with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space, and Greenway Plans. A five-year recreation plan is required to be eligible to apply for recreation grants administered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Funding for eligible projects comes from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF), the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Clean Michigan Initiative Recreation Bond Fund, and the Recreation Passport Grant Program.

The Marquette County Forestry Commission manages forest resources on County owned lands. Their primary guidance to accomplish this task is the Forest Management Plan. This document is the latest in a series of management plans dating back to the 1950s, exemplifying commitment to scientific management of forest resources by the County.

The most significant forested property the county owns is the County Forest. The forest is comprised of approximately 9,300 acres in Sands and Forsyth Township near Sawyer. The County Forest is managed for multi-use. A variety of management prescriptions are used to govern the manner in which individual tracts of land are used. These prescriptions range from intensive forestry efforts such as plantations where the focus is primarily growing trees much like a crop to areas that are preserved for fish and wildlife habitat.

There are currently 20 local ordinances within Marquette County. This plan does not eliminate the need for local units to create and adopt their own zoning plan or the need to document the consistency between their plans and their zoning ordinance and related decisions. All decisions relating to zoning should focus upon implementing a well-thought-out plan that addresses the suitability of the land and infrastructure to the proposed use and the needs of the community. The plan(s), upon which the ordinance is based, must be updated regularly. Any ordinance that is not based upon official plans and policies, or does not comply with the State’s Enabling legislation, has a weak legal foundation. Zoning is a method of regulating land uses for the betterment of the land and the community. It is one of the means for implementing a community’s long range plans. In addition, it is essential for understanding present conditions, future growth potential and the need for infrastructure and services. It is a legal tool that requires maintenance and skilled use to be effective. Marquette County does not have a zoning ordinance. Therefore, township and city zoning ordinances are a very important tool for the implementation of a county’s goals and policies.

The County must adopt a County Plan which must be approved by the State Survey and Remonumentation Commission in order to be eligible for state grants for monumentation and remonumentation.  This plan is based on the State's Model County Plan with changes appropriate for Marquette County.

Community Wildfire Protection Plans were established under the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003. Particular interest is focused on the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI). This is the zone where homes are built near or among lands prone to wildfire. In Marquette County, the largest population in the Upper Peninsula lives in an area that is 85 percent forested, so the WUI is very large.

A strong local food system offers multiple benefits to the Marquette County community including, but not limited to, an improved local economy, health, access to fresh food, and food security.  A necessary step in strengthening our local food system is to evaluate policies and regulations to ensure that they are “local food friendly”. The Marquette County Planning Commission will reference the Local Food Supply Plan to advise decision makers regarding local food systems. The Local Food Supply plan is intended to be an educational tool and a mechanism to increase awareness as to how a strong local food system benefits our community.

Planning staff worked in conjunction with the Central Upper Peninsula Regional Planning Commission (CUPPAD), Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), US‐41/M‐28 Corridor Advisory Group, and municipalities within the access management study area to update the US‐ 41/M‐28 Comprehensive Corridor Access Management Plan in 2010. The Plan identifies access management‐related issues and opportunities along US‐41/M‐28 from Ely Township’s western boundary east through Chocolay Township.

Per State Law, Marquette County has a Solid Waste Management Plan, that is one piece of the State of Michigan's Plan. The State of Michigan is shifting its focus from disposal to materials management. Solid Waste Management Plans are outdated. In the future, Counties will be transition to Materials Management Plans.

bottom of page