License Fee Bill Passes Senate Approps, Needs Your Support!June 13th, 2013
House Bill 4668 is the bill that implements the license fee proposal, which simplifies the license system and is projected to raise approximately $19 million for fish and wildlife habitat work, fish stocking, more conservation officers and a more efficient license sales system.
MUCC supports the license fee changes because our members have approved multiple resolutions supporting long-term, stable funding for the Department of Natural Resources. The vast majority of conservation funding in Michigan comes from license and equipment sales, and for the past century hunters, anglers and trappers have taken pride in supporting the natural resources enjoyed by us and all other citizens of Michigan.
What we have demanded of the DNR is transparency in how they use the funding, and they are providing that. In conjunction with the proposed license changes, the DNR released a set of outcomes detailing how the additional funding will be used, the bulk of which will go to fish and wildlife habitat work, technical assistance and grants for partners performing fish and wildlife habitat work, maintenance at fish hatcheries, much-needed additional conservation officers, and a smarter, more efficient license sales system.
In recent years, they have also made tremendous improvements in reporting how they use the revenue we provide them. For example, the Wildlife Division created the GPS (Guiding Principles and Strategies) which outlines their strategic plan and issues an Annual Report each year detailing how they are implementing it. Additionally, you can view all the habitat improvement projects they’ve conducted in the last two years by county on their website. Just this year, the Fisheries Division released its strategic plan, Charting the Course, and the outcomes of the license package align with both divisions’ strategic plan.
In other words, the DNR is being strategic and transparent with how they plan to invest the revenue raised from the license proposal, which means we can make sure they do what they say they’ll do. And the package has a 5-year sunset, which means we can hold them to it.
It’s not always politically popular, though, to raise any fees, even when the constituents paying those fees are demanding them because they know the results will be worth it. After passing the full House of Representatives last week and the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday, some Senators are balking.
They don’t understand that we hunters, anglers and trappers view it as our responsibility, as those who use and understand our natural resources better than most citizens, to make sure that those resources are in the best shape they can be when we pass them on to future generations. Please remind them by calling your state senator today and telling them you proudly support the license fee package and HB 4668!
|D||1||Young, Coleman II||517-373-7346|
|D||3||Hood, Morris W III||517-373-0990|
|D||5||Hunter, Tupac A.||517-373-0994|
|D||9||Bieda, Steven M||517-373-8360|
|R||26||Robertson, David B||517-373-1636|
|R||30||Meekhof, Arlan B||517-373-6920|
|R||33||Emmons, Judy K||517-373-3760|
|R||35||Booher, Darwin L||517-373-1725|