Boys State Department of Environmental Protection & Natural Resources



The Boys State Department of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources is a part of the Executive Branch of the Boys State government. Its Secretary is part of the governor’s cabinet. The department oversees the activities, management and finances of the divisions and agencies within the department. The Boys State Department of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources is the second largest department of the seven Executive Departments under the Executive Branch of the Boys State government.


Mission Statement

“The mission of the Boys State Department of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources is to restore, protect, manage, conserve and enhance the environment and state’s natural resources, as well as, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality for current and future generations.”


Divisions / Agencies

Environmental Protection:


  • Department of Air Quality: Compliance with statutes, Identification and reduction of existing outdoor air pollution problems, Air emission control programs, Air monitoring, control strategy planning, permit issuance, and inspection of air emission sources.
  • Department of Drinking Water and Public Health: Environmental health services provided at local health departments, Public and private water supplies, subdivisions, on-site sewage, campgrounds, public swimming pools, mobile home parks, medical waste, dry cleaning and radiological health.
  • Environmental Assistance Agency: Assistance and publications in the areas of technical compliance, pollution prevention, waste reduction, clean air, innovative technology and site redevelopment, Workshops, seminars and conferences; treatment plant operator training and certification, Clean Corporate Citizen program, Environmental Audit, Community Right-to-Know, Financial assistance for water supply and municipal wastewater collection/treatment projects and site revitalization.
  • Environmental Response Agency: Programs that govern and fund the cleanup and revitalization of contaminated sites, State-funded cleanups, Financial assistance to local units of government for local cleanup and redevelopment projects, Site cleanup activities; technical expertise, guidance, compliance, emergency response, and public outreach assistance, Liability protection to innocent parties for pre-existing site contamination.
  • Department of Land and Water Management: Inland lakes management, floodplains, wetlands, sand dunes, development and construction activities on the lakes, Permits for shoreline protection, marinas, dams, roads, and any dredging or filling of lakes, streams and wetlands, Information and technical assistance, including groundwater modeling and hydrologic analysis.
  • Geological Survey Agency: Fossil fuels, minerals, groundwater, energy resources, Geologic information collection and dissemination, Permits and oversight of oil, gas and mineral production, Topographic and geologic maps; records of oil, gas and water wells, core and drilling samples.
  • Finance and Business Service Agency: Preparation of annual department budget requests, guidance and direction on department's operating budget, Liaison between Department of Management and Budget and the Legislature regarding the department's operating budget, Central accounting and federal aid functions, planning and policy development, Freedom of Information Act coordination, Space management, procurement, field operations, forms and records management.
  • Waste Management Department: Hazardous and non-hazardous waste regulation, Management and disposal of hazardous, liquid industrial and solid waste, scrap tires, wastewater discharges to the groundwater, and land application of certain solid waste beneficial to the soil, Permits, licenses, or registration of disposal facilities and transporters, Funding for the cleanup and disposal of abandoned scrap tires, Solid waste planning


Natural Resources:


  • Department of Forest Management: Manages the use of forests for timber production, new tree growth (growing trees at 2-1/2 times the rate of harvest), wildlife habitat and recreation. Foresters regularly examine trees, plants and soil characteristics to determine the best management practices to keep the forests healthy. Fire officers protect both public and private lands from wildfires.
  • Law Enforcement Agency: Michigan Conservation Officers primarily enforce laws related to hunting, fishing and trapping, as well as laws governing the operation of boats, snowmobiles and recreational vehicles. COs also work with other state, federal and local law-enforcement agencies to enforce a wide range of statutes and assist in undercover investigations, fire prevention and emergency search, rescue and recovery operations.
  • Wildlife Management Agency: manages and protects 400 species of game and non-game birds, mammals and their habitats, along with 70 state game and recreation areas. Wildlife biologists make recommendations on hunting regulations, habitat management, public hunting access, and protect more than 64 threatened and endangered plant and animal species.
  • Department of Fisheries: works to preserve and enhance Michigan's fish populations, as well as other forms of aquatic life. Fish are monitored and studied by biologists who strive to keep Michigan fishing among the nation's best. More than 20 fish species are reared and hatched at six state hatcheries, and then planted into designated waters to maintain or improve fish populations.
  • Land and Mineral Services Agency: responsible for managing lands reverted to the state for non-payment of taxes, issuing easements on state-owned lands and overseeing the sale of gas and oil extracted from state-owned lands, administers mineral estate ownership and leasing rights to explore for oil, gas and other minerals on state-owned lands; sells tax-reverted lands at public auctions; maintains statewide aerial photographs in color infra-red and black and white formats, and provides detailed computerized map information for land utilization, management and resource protection.
  • Parks and Recreation Department: Oversees the maintenance, management, care and development of the state’s parks, including campgrounds, beaches, facilities and shelters, as well as, state historical sites and public access boating sites.
  • Department of State Waterways: manages the state’s lakes, rivers and streams, responsible for the conservation and law enforcement of all recreational and commercial uses of the state’s waterways including: boating, skiing, shipping and all other forms of recreational use. Also develops programs to educate and inform water uses, as well as, develop and maintain the states many wetlands and drainage systems to ensure safe and healthy waterways.