Conservationists Applaud House Passage of SB 288, 289May 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.”