The state Department of Natural Resources plans to buy pine cones from the public this fall as part of an annual effort to collect seeds needed for reforestation efforts.
DNR offices in the Upper Peninsula communities of Marquette and Manistique are seeking unopened red and jack pine cones, the agency said this week.
The DNR plans to pay between $30 and $35 a bushel for high-quality cones. The pine cones usually come from the eastern Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, but the DNR also is looking for pine cones from the western Upper Peninsula.
"The western U.P. has some of the highest-quality jack pine stands in the state," Tom Seablom, a Forest Resources Division timber management specialist in Marquette, said in a statement.
Seeds contained in the cones will be placed in cold storage at the DNR-operated Wyman State Nursery until they're needed. The Manistique-based facility produces between 5 million and 7.5 million seedlings annually to help replenish Michigan's forest land.
Anyone interested in selling cones should contact Forest Resources Division staff in their area for more information and to get dates for purchases. Offices in the Lower Peninsula communities of Cadillac and Gaylord also plan collections, the DNR said on its website.