GOVERNOR SNYDER RELEASES HIS EXECUTIVE BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONSFebruary 5th, 2014
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Contact: Erin McDonough – (517) 775-9500
LANSING, MICH –
Several weeks ago, in Governor Snyder’s State of the State address he touched on the importance of Michigan’s high quality natural resources and pledged to continue his support for them. In this morning’s Budget Message, Governor Snyder backed up those earlier comments with a 70% General Fund increase to the DNR and a 40% General Fund increase to the DEQ. This type of General Fund investment in natural resources is unprecedented.
Those increases include a DNR-led “Quality of Life” agency effort of $6 million in new funding to fight invasive species in our state. Our forests and waters are under attack by invasive species in the state and this money will be spent on the prevention, detection, and elimination of both aquatic and terrestrial invasive species.
In addition, part of the 40% increase to the DEQ is $3.9 million in new funding that is geared towards water quality and quantity, which includes a focus on stronger protections for our valuable fishing and duck hunting paradises; Michigan’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands.
Other proposed Budget Recommendations include:
• $2.5 million to expand Michigan’s Trails;
• $3.5 million to put to 25 more Conservation Officers in the field;
• $1 million for a new fisheries research vessel on Lake Huron;
• $4 million in funding backlogged infrastructure improvements in Michigan’s State Parks;
• $4 million in new funding for wildfire protection and forest management, and;
• $2.5 million for the Qualified Forest Program.
The proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Executive Budget is encouraging to those of us here at MUCC and it should be to all of Michigan’s sportsmen and women. The proposed increase in General Fund shows that our natural resources are finally being recognized as the important economic drivers they are for Michigan; hunting and fishing alone generate $4.8 billion annually for Michigan’s economy.
This is only the beginning of the budget cycle. We must stay vigilant to ensure these recommendations make it through the legislature and are used for their intended purposes.
We look forward to working with the Governor, Michigan Legislature and conservation partners as the budget continues to be worked on.