Livin' Wild: Don't Silence Sound Science

Drew YoungDyke On the Ground Drew YoungeDyke
Where were you when you first heard about the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act? Did you get an email from MUCC? Hear it at a club meeting? A Facebook post? A sportsmen's banquet? Outdoor show? Mike Avery's radio show? NRA News with Cam & Company? See a petition table at an outdoor store? So much has happened since then, but it wasn't that long ago. We launched the petition drive in December 2013, and here we are, one day from final passage in the Michigan House of Representatives. Maybe.
What did you do in that short amount of time to advance the most important hunting rights initiative in Michigan since Proposal G, maybe even before then? Did you attend a petition circulator training at Oakland County Sportsmen's Club or the Chelsea Rod & Gun Club? Did you write a check to Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, or did your club? Did you circulate petitions at your club, around your neighborhood, or at Cabela's, Bass Pro Shops, Gander Mountain, Jay's Sporting Goods or Frank's Great Outdoors? Did you sign one at Outdoorama or at a snowmobile rally in the U.P. when it was -22 degrees?
Almost 300,000 registered Michigan voters signed the petition in support of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Almost 300,000 registered Michigan voters signed the petition in support of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
Think about what you put into this effort to protect hunting rights from radical out-of-state anti-hunters, particularly the Humane Society of the United States, which bankrolled, staffs and runs the front group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. How many minutes, hours, days, months did you devote to making sure we make fish and wildlife decisions with sound science, not sound bites?

Call Your State Representative

Even if all you did was stop by a table at Cabela's, listen to Paul Chapman explain the initiative and sign your name, you expended at least a couple minutes in support of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. You and almost 300,000 of your fellow registered Michigan voters. And after the state Senate passed the initiative on August 13, we're one day away from victory in the House of Representatives. Like I said, though: maybe.
Because we're not there yet. After all of the minutes, hours, days, weeks and months you put into this effort, there is still one thing left to do. And it will take less time than it took you to learn about the initiative and sign your name. You need to protect your investment of time, effort, money, blood, sweat and tears and take one minute right now to call your state representative and tell them to listen to you and your 300,000 fellow voters and vote YES on the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Didn't get a chance to sign the petition? Then this is your chance to make a difference!
Why do we have to do this, after we've already done so much, you ask? Because the people who want to take away your hunting rights have been calling your representatives. They've been running robo-calls out of call centers to your neighbors, lying to them by telling them that the bill is only about a wolf hunt and that the wolf hunt is only about trophies, and then patching them through to your elected representatives, the ones who will either listen to the voters, do their job and vote YES, or listen to the anti-hunters, punt this to a ballot, ignore sound science and let the largest bank account win.

Call Your State Representative

And make no mistake, HSUS has an almost unlimited bank account. The kind that can run endless misleading political advertisements that will silence the sound science behind the wolf hunt by claiming it doesn't exist (it does, it's right here), claiming it's only for "trophies," (it's not, they use that talking point only because it works on uninformed non-hunters), and run it so often that that's all the people see. And they'll be one giant step closer to their full agenda of taking away hunting rights species-by-species, state-by-state. Despite all their rhetoric about "the will of the people," the only reason they want this on the ballot in November is because that's where the biggest bank account wins. If this issue is decided at the Natural Resources Commission, sound science decides the issue because the NRC is required by law to use sound science, both by 1996's Proposal G and the very initiative we're asking our representatives to pass. Haggards
Because here's the thing: that is exactly why we elect representatives, why we have a democratic republic form of government. We elect representatives to represent our will in government. The will is not always determined by the majority on specific issues, because there is no requirement that the majority is fully informed, or even somewhat informed. There are situations in republican government where the simple majority, as determined on a statewide ballot, is not the wisest way to make a decision and does not reflect the public will or the best interests of the people, particularly with minority group rights and science (and HSUS is trying to remove minority group rights by ignoring science). If so, our government would not be structured as a representative government: we would simply vote on every issue, every situation.
Would we convict someone of a crime with a statewide vote, rather than a jury who has sat through the presentation of evidence? Do we have a statewide vote on particular medical treatments for a sickness, or do we take the recommendations of doctors who practice in the field? Then why would we treat wildlife with less respect than to base the prescriptions for their management (including hunting as a management  tool) on the recommendations of trained biologists who work in the field?  But that is exactly what HSUS is trying to eliminate: taking the decision out of the hands of biologists and decide it in a forum where the most money, not the most science, decides the outcome.
Michigan Bear Hunters Association donates $100,000 to CPWM Michigan Bear Hunters Association donates $100,000 to CPWM
Representatives are elected to weigh the information and vote in the best interest of the people of their district and the state; there is nothing "undemocratic" about that. They represent the people of Michigan, who collectively own the wildlife of the state, for which the Department of Natural Resources manages them in trust for the people. Yes, the people have a right to referendum a bill under the Michigan Constitution, but we also have a right to propose legislation under that same Constitution. And that's exacltly what we did: almost 300,000 Michigan voters signed the petition asking the Legislature to do its job and represent the best interests of the people. The best interests of the people are to manage their wildlife with sound science, not partisan political ads.
But right now, many of the representatives are hearing only from the people who have been robo-called by HSUS, and some of the representatives are tempted to shirk their duty and punt on what HSUS has portrayed as a controversial issue, as if the 100 calls they got through HSUS's robo-call system outweigh the 300,000 registered Michigan voters who initiated the law. But if they don't hear from you, today, then those uninformed robo-calls are all they will listen to.

Call Your State Representative

Don't let the months of effort that you've put into protecting the role of sound science in wildlife management get silenced by a few robo-calls. Because your one call to your state representative, right now, means more than those robo-calls, because you are informed. You are not asking your legislator to arbitrarily approve or ban wolf hunting or any other kind of hunting; All you are asking them to do is cast a YES vote to make sure that the issue is decided by what the science says. That is what's best for the wildlife, and for the people, of Michigan. And that is why you need to call your state representative today to vote for the best interests of the people he or she represents, and cast a YES vote for the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.
Steven Rinella, host of MeatEater Steven Rinella, host of MeatEater
Tomorrow afternoon, we can celebrate. But only if you make that one-minute phone call today, right now. I'm going to close by quoting Steven Rinella, host of MeatEater on The Sportsman Channel, endorser of the Scientitific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, and one of my personal conservation heroes:
“If you want to protect your state’s hunting, fishing, and trapping rights, you need to sign the petition for The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Basically, the Act will ensure that decisions about hunting and fishing laws are made by trained wildlife professionals who rely on science-based management strategies rather than emotion-based dogma. Don’t be lazy! You need to get on board with this.”
Frankly, if you've had time to read this blog, then you have time to call your representative. So don't be lazy. Get on board with protecting your rights to hunt, fish and trap and call your state representative right now! Let's get this done. Sisu.
Livin' Wild Wednesday is the weekly blog from MUCC Grassroots Manager Drew YoungeDyke. This edition is coming out on Tuesday because we can't wait for Wednesday: call your state representative today!

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.