Natural Resources

The Natural Resources Extension Program helps communities, individuals and various groups better understand the natural world through outreach and education.


Natural resources are the things that come from the natural world (the environment), without any influence from us humans. Water, rocks, soil, minerals, plants, forests, animals, air, wind and sunshine are examples of natural resources. These things would all exist even if humans didn't. A lot of decisions we make and things we do daily can affect these natural resources. It is our job as responsible humans to be smart and work together when it comes to our decisions and actions that impact natural resources.

Everything in the natural world is connected. That's why when making decisions regarding the management of natural resources, we need to first identify our goals. Are natural resources being managed for animal benefit? Environmental benefit? Or Human benefit? Regardless of what our goals are, our decisions will impact everyone and everything since all are connected.

Think of natural resource decision making and management as being a team sports coach. A good coach does not make decisions based on what is best for one player on the team, but what is best for the entire team as a whole. A good coach does not make decisions based on what the audience wants either. The additional challenge is that the coach is working with a team made up of many different players that cannot express their opinion or worth with words or a market dollar value. Some people believe that natural resources should be developed and extracted to the greatest benefit for humans. Others think that natural resources are meant to be protected and preserved from human use, and reserved for animals and the environment. Some people believe the best option is conservation, a balance of both extractive and protective management.

Regardless of what your goals are for natural resources management, MSU Extension Natural Resources Education is here to help you develop and fulfill your natural resources goals. We can help you find the information you are seeking, get you connected with the resources you need, and offer science and research based educational opportunities to expand your horizons and enhance your decision making capabilities.  

 To learn more about Natural Resources programming, visit our Current & Previous Projects page. 


"Here is your country. Cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches, or its romance."

- Theodore Roosevelt