Don’t dismiss election season: even though it’s a pain!

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by Matt Evans, MUCC Legislative Manager
Fall is hear again and to be quite honest it seemed to arrive really fast!  Maybe that’s because most of mine and MUCC’s summer was spent trouncing HSUS.  By the way I’m not complaining, it was very satisfying!
I know that most of you are spending your spare time scouting locations for the fast approaching bow season or getting out in the field for some waterfowl hunting and even though that is a lot more fun it’s important that we don’t forget the election this November.  I am sure that you are already sick of the back to back to back political commercials that are tedious and annoying.  But despite the annoyance of election season it is still important that you pay attention to it.
Michigan’s conservation community is in a fantastic position right now on all levels and a huge part of that is because of folks like you.  This doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do, because there is.  But for the first time in as long as I can remember we have a legislature that listens to us and has made Michigan’s outdoors a priority.  The Michigan conservation community is active and in tune to what’s going on in the state.  You all are paying attention and getting involved more so in the last 4 years than ever before.  In addition, the many different conservation, hunting, and fishing groups from across the state are united and have a very strong voice in Michigan.  If you doubt me then I would encourage you to go back through the last few years of legislative accomplishments.  For the first time in a decade the DNR received a budget increase that has allowed for more CO’s, money to fight invasive species, grants for wildlife habitat...etc.  In addition, the Colorado model was enacted, straight walled cartridges are allowed for hunting, the mentored youth hunt, and not more than two weeks ago we passed the Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act.  And, there are many more accomplishments that I would encourage you to look up as all of them are because you have supported pro-conservation oriented candidates!
The last piece of this puzzle is to continue to elect officials who are conservation oriented and care about hunting and fishing in Michigan.  Those of us at MUCC can’t tell you who to vote for but we can encourage you to take a few minutes to pay attention to this November’s election.  Spend a few hours to visit your candidate’s webpages, attend one of their events or better yet, invite the candidates out to your club for a candidate forum.  I’ll even come out to your club to moderate a forum if you’d like.
As fellow conservationists we must stay informed and involved.  The days of excuses and not voting are no longer acceptable.  This is a midterm elections where some races are decided by less than a 1,000 votes.  And when the decision is between a pro-conservation candidate and an anti-conservation candidate, it matters even more!  So please take some time this fall to get informed and be involved.  Find out who the pro-conservation candidate is, regardless of which side of the isle they are on, and then go tell your friends so that we can elect them.
It is imperative that we keep up the momentum in the legislature for 2015.  We must ensure Michigan’s outdoor heritage is protected and prioritized by supporting conservation oriented candidates this fall.

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