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MUCC Commits to Ensuring Transparency on DNR License Expenditures

October 1st, 2013

by Erin McDonough, MUCC Executive Director

What’s more important than a single victory?  Follow through on your commitments so you can win over and over again.  Part 1 of a continuing series.

MUCC committed to our members that we would track the expenditure of the new license fee dollars to make sure they are being spent in the committed areas (DNR’s proposed summary of expenditures).  With last month’s signing of the license fee legislation, we are again committing to keep you informed and to watch dog the expenditure of these funds moving forward.

Also last month, the Natural Resource Commission Finance & Governance Committee met and began outlining the reporting process the Department of Natural Resources will use to provide the transparency and accountability we are looking for.

Highlights:

  • The new dollars will not come online until March of 2014, so don’t expect immediate investment.
  • The first year is a partial year so the new money will be approximately $11 million.  Once fully implemented, the estimate is $18.1 million.
  • As of right now reporting on investments will be quarterly. An annual calendar will be created so you know when full reports will be given at the NRC.  This will give you the opportunity to plan on attending or tuning into a live stream of the meeting.
  • We want to develop an effective reporting requirement for the new dollars that can eventually be used for reporting on all license fee dollars.
  • Look for connections between the dollars invested and the goals laid out in the Wildlife Division and Fisheries Division Strategic Plans.
  • The DNR will add the new license package to their Departmental Scorecard in order to track progress towards their goals.

Participate in the process:

Check out the presentation and the proposed forms and let us know if the information isn’t clear in helping you understand how the dollars will be (and are) being spent.

Share your ideas here or email Amy Trotter (atrotter@mucc.org) on ways to better present the information and we will take this information to the NRC and DNR.

  • luckless

    Looks like the sportsmen were snookered again. After they jacked up our hunting and fishing taxes the DNR inked a deal to LEASE Belle Isle from Detroit for about as much money as the new taxes are expected to raise. This new tax is just being used to bail out Detroit. And they wonder why we don’t trust the DNR.

    • Amy Trotter

      The license fee package has nothing to do with the agreement on Belle Isle. In the FY 2014 budget, the Legislature reserved $2.5 million in General Fund money (general tax payer money) to offer for Belle Isle upgrades should a deal go through. I think the remainder will come from the State Park Improvement Fund and probably Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grants. The only time they might use a small amount of Fish and Game would be where they are doing actual habitat or perhaps an angler access project.

  • Tom M.

    Please include “watch dogging” how the Dingell jhonson restoration tackle tax money is being spent. In 2012 the Fishery division spent $8.2 million on stocking salmon and trout. This is not restoration as the funds are intended to be for. Also I would still like to know where the law is that everything has to be science based?

  • Tom Matych

    The “goal” of the Fishery Div. is to fill lake Michigan back up with alewives. Keep in mind the Alewives eat the same zooplankton as Asian Carp. Alewives alone can wipe out all the zooplankton ALL fish need in a matter of days. Based on records and levels alewives alone can consume all zooplankton from 5 to 50 days. The same zooplankton we don’t want Asian Carp to eat. They fail to mention this fact. Transparent? Lets start here, it is the plan. Gotta be a better way or restoring/ preserving our heritege than filling the lake back up with alewives!

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