The Michigan Natural Features Inventory is a program of Michigan State University Extension. MNFI is part of an international network of over 70 natural heritage programs and conservation data centers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America dedicated to the collection of information on biological diversity within the Western Hemisphere.
Since 1979, MNFI has developed and maintained the only statewide biological and conservation database on Michigan’s rare plants and animals, exemplary natural communities, and other significant natural features. These data are used by Federal, state and local agencies and private organizations to guide land management, development, and conservation decisions.
The MNFI conducts conservation biology research to support decision-making processes regarding biodiversity management and conservation and to enhance the ability of natural resource managers to sustainably manage the resources under their stewardship, by providing the best information and tools, based on cutting-edge conservation science. MNFI assists federal and state agencies, as well as local communities, to develop biodiversity conservation plans -- thereby not only conserving biodiversity but also enhancing the quality of life for residents, tourism opportunities, preserving or enhancing property values, increasing public access to parks, and increasing state funding opportunities to communities, resulting in local jobs and recreation. MNFI also facilitates community and institutional capability building with respect to understanding and implementing best management practices regarding healthy ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide.
The mission of Michigan Natural Features Inventory is to deliver the highest quality information that contributes to the conservation of biodiversity, especially rare and declining plants and animals and the diversity of ecosystems native to Michigan.