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Conservationists Applaud House Passage of SB 288, 289

May 3rd, 2013

LANSING – The Michigan House of Representatives passed SB 288 yesterday by a vote of 72-38, along with SB 289. The bills allow the Natural Resources Commission to designate game species and issue fisheries orders, provide free licenses for active members of the military, and protect the rights to hunt and fish in state law. The bills passed the Michigan Senate on April 25.

“This is the next step in the process of ensuring we manage our wildlife using the best available science,” said Matt Pedigo, president of the Michigan Bear Hunters Association. “This is bigger than any one species. This is about implementing the principles of Proposal G.”

Jim Wale, president of the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, agreed. “We’re glad to see our elected representatives agree we should manage wildlife using sound science rather than emotions,” he said.

In 1996, over 68% of Michigan citizens voted for Proposal G, which gave the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) exclusive authority to manage game species and required it to use sound science in its wildlife management decisions. SB 288 extends the NRC’s authority and sound science mandate to naming animals to the game species list, while retaining the Legislature’s authority to do the same. The Legislature retains the exclusive authority to remove species from the game list.

“These bills build on the excellent work that Michigan’s voters started in 1996 with Proposal G,” said John Caretti, president of the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association. “We decided back then that wildlife management decisions should be made by experts based on the best available science, instead of emotions, and today the Legislature affirmed it. This is a great day for scientifically-based wildlife management in Michigan.”

The bills will go to Governor Rick Snyder to be signed into law.

“Michigan’s conservation and outdoors community has really come together in support of this legislation,” said Erin McDonough, executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “We unite when fundamental questions of wildlife management and our rights to hunt, fish and trap are at stake. MUCC thanks every legislator who voted to pass SB 288 and 289, and to every citizen who called them and asked them to.”

  • Diane

    I am a member of HSUS> I am not anti-hunting. My husband, brother and father are all hunters. I do not wish to take away your right to hunt. The petition that was circulated was to get the proposal on the ballot in 2014. It was to let the people of Michigan decide if they wanted a wolf hunt. Isn’t that how democracy is supposed to work? There was nothing democratic how this SB288 was put forth. I used to have faith in our government, but not anymore. I am ashamed of Michigan.

    • http://www.facebook.com/youngedyke Drew YoungeDyke

      HSUS is an anti-hunting organization. Whether or not you consider yourself to be an anti-hunter, you’re supporting an anti-hunting organization. They’ve restricted hunting rights all over the country, usually in states that have ballot processes that are easy to get on if you have enough money, like Michigan and California. We feel biology is a better way to decide wildlife issues, so we’re not going to let HSUS take away hunting rights anymore. SB 288 was passed by the people we elected to represent us, implements the principles we voted for directly with Proposal G, and will be administered by a commission appointed by the governors we have elected and which we mandated to use sound science.

      • Bruce Welnetz

        If only what you say was true – the NRC is a political body, heavily influenced by self-serving groups. As taxpayers we paid for George Pawley (Montana) to give his opinion. Yet, NRC was not interested in hearing from MI or WI researchers.

      • Diane

        You stated in an earlier posting that the people of Michigan will “always have the right to hunt and fish.” So how can that be taken away from you? The HSUS does not have vast amounts of money to push their agendas through, however you have the NRA backing you and they are one of the most powerful lobbyists in the U.S. Just watching how fast and below the radar this SB288 was pushed through congress tells me there was someone with a great deal of power backing it. Why is it always the wolf who gets the blame and suffers the most?

  • Bruce Welnetz

    What a misleading story…Hunters as conservationalists is quite the exaggeration. In the case of the wolf, hunters and trappers killed them off, needed the Endangered Species Act to get hunters to stop killing them, within 16 months of coming off the list, lets hunt and trap them again. Most reasonable hunters do not support hunting wolves.

    • http://www.facebook.com/youngedyke Drew YoungeDyke

      Wolves were endangered because the state used to have a bounty on them, not a limited, regulated hunting season. Two very different things.

  • Bruce Welnetz

    Can someone explain why we need SB 289 and what are the implications of such a law? I always saw hunting as a privilege (not a right). If someone is found guilty of a wildlife violation, they usually lost their privilege – rights are not taken away. Hopefully, someone will clarify.

    • http://www.facebook.com/youngedyke Drew YoungeDyke

      SB 289 puts the rights to hunt and fish that are currently in common law into statute. The rights are subject to law and regulation. It’s also a collective right “the people’s right to hunt and fish.” It means that the people of Michigan will always have the right to hunt and fish, though individuals can lose that right if they violate. We’re supporting another bill moving through right now that makes Michigan a full participant in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact so that we can revoke the hunting licenses of violators.

      • Bruce Welnetz

        Appreciate the clarification – it still seems unnecessary.

  • Bruce Welnetz

    While I appreciate having the NRC meeting “livestreamed”, it was very difficult to hear because the mike was close to someone typing & there was a very loud hum throughout. Nonetheless thanks

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