Michigan United Conservation Clubs is a grassroots organization, which means that our policy is decided by our members. Members introduce resolutions, which, if adopted, become the policy that MUCC staff works to enact. This past weekend, Southwest Michigan and Southeast Michigan members took advantage of the opportunity to turn their ideas into state policy by introducing resolutions at regional meetings in Grand Rapids and Saline. After passing the Regional meetings, resolutions must go on to be approved at the Annual Convention in June for them to become MUCC’s formal policy or position on an issue.
The MUCC Region III meeting was held Saturday at the West Walker Sportsmen’s Club in Grand Rapids. In attendance were 30 individuals representing a variety of clubs from across southwest Michigan, as well as MUCC staff and DNR Regional Supervisor, Steve Chadwick.
There were six resolutions introduced and discussed at the Region III meeting and five of the six are moving on to convention, with the sixth resolution being withdrawn. The 5 resolutions moving on to the annual convention are:
1. Portable Ground Blind Safety: Introduced by Furmer Reed & Patricia Doherty
a. Require portable ground blinds to include at least 144 square inches of hunter orange.
2. Expand Hunting Opportunities from Elevated Platforms: Introduced by Millard Holton
a. a. Allow small game, elk, bobcats, woodchuck, and turkey to be hunted from elevated platforms with a firearm.
3. Window Decal for Recreation Passport: Introduced by Roberta Reed
a. Allow the SOS, MDOT, & DNR to provide a recreation passport window sticker in addition to the license plate decal.
4. Outlaw the use of drones in hunting: Introduced by Bill Krepps & Jack VanRhee
a. Prohibit the use of drones to assist in any way the hunting of game and prohibit the use drones as a tool of harassment of hunters.
5. Provide economic assistance to combat invasive weeds on lakes with public access: Introduced by Bob Pickel
a. Support a program that would provide riparian land owners on lakes with public access with a tax reduction for the purpose of controlling invasive weeds.
The MUCC Region IV meeting was held Sunday at the Tri-County Sportsmen’s Club in Saline. Attendees representing a variety of clubs in Southeast Michigan met for lively discussion on a variety of topics including: Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management Initiative, On the Ground volunteer opportunities, and the Wildlife habitat grant opportunities. There were also several legislative items discussed, including the land cap repeal, the new license fee structure, ORV helmet requirements, and the DNR budget.
Also in attendance at the meeting were MUCC staff members Amy Trotter and Matt Evans, and DNR Wildlife Biologist Tim Payne.
There was only one resolution introduced at the Region IV meeting but it did provide for a lively discussion. In the end it was approved and it will move on to annual convention.
1. Winter Access to Public Boating Access Sites: Introduced by Joe Sattler & Elden Montross
a. Support the winter maintenance activities at public boating access sites across Michigan.
In addition to our Regional meetings, Statewide Affiliate Clubs in MUCC's District 20 have the opportunity to bring forward resolutions. To date, they have approved 2 resolutions to move on to Convention and will have one last opportunity on April 2nd to pass more:
1. Wildlife Cooperative Management Coordinator, Michigan Quality Deer Management Association
a. Calling for MUCC's support in establishing a person within the DNR to work with private land cooperatives on meeting their wildlife and habitat goals and objectives.
2. Michigan Bass Season Change
a. Expand Michigan’s bass season catch-and-immediate-release statewide on all waters including Great Lakes and Great Lakes Connecting Waters - January 1 through the Friday before Memorial Day, and catch and keep through the remainder of the year, with some exceptions.
There will be at least 18 resolutions to date coming to convention and each one provides our members the opportunity to have a discussion on the issues that matter most to Michigan’s sportsmen and women.
Thank you to all who participated in this process and we look forward to continuing the discussion at convention.