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SB 288 & 289: Scientific Wildlife Management

May 8th, 2013

Summary:  (Identical to HB 4552 & 4553) This bill package establishes a right to hunt, fish and trap; provides free licenses to active-duty members of the military; grants the Natural Resources Commission exclusive authority to issue fisheries regulations and concurrent authority with the legislature to designate a game species.

Analysis:  The Scientific Wildlife Management Package accomplishes a number of positive actions for conservation, hunting, fishing, trapping and fish and wildlife species in Michigan.

SB 288 and HB 4552 provide free licenses to members of the military. They also share the legislature’s current exclusive authority to designate a game animal with the Natural Resources Commission, which is mandated to use sound science in its wildlife management decisions. The legislature retains the exclusive authority to remove a game species. SB 288 and HB 4552 also grant the Natural Resources Commission the exclusive authority to make fisheries regulations, as it currently has for game species.

The Senate-passed substitute for SB 288 eliminates the original $1 million appropriation and excludes mourning doves from the NRC’s authority under the bill, since they were removed from the game list by referendum in 2006.

SB 289 and HB 4553 establish a right in Michigan to hunt, fish and trap and adds the protection of the rights to hunt, fish and trap as a purpose of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.

Current Status: Signed into law as PA 21 & 22 of 2013.

MUCC Action: Supports the Scientific Wildlife Management Package. Joined with other conservation groups in organizing Camo at the Capitol, where citizens lobbied for passage of the bill. MUCC members and affiliates called legislators and Governor in support bill. 

Sponsors:  Sen. Tom Casperson (R – Escanaba), Rep. Jon Bumstead (R – Newago)

Co-Sponsors: Senators David Hildenbrand, Darwin Booher, Arlan Meekhof, Representativs Phil Potvin, Peter Pettalia, Ken Goike, Dan Lauwers, Joseph Graves, Terry L. Brown, Greg MacMaster, Paul Clemente, Tom Hooker, Dale W. Zorn, Rick Outman, Ken Yonker, Bruce R. Rendon, Roger Victory, Kenneth Kurtz, Amanda Price, Nancy Jenkins, Ben Glardon, Bradford C. Jacobsen, Rob VerHeulen, Bill Rogers, Cindy Denby, Tom McMillin, Kevin Cotter, Lisa Posthumus Lyons, Ed McBroom, Mike Shirkey, Kevin Daley, Ray Franz, Mike Callton, Klint Kesto,Joel Johnson, Gail Haines, Peter MacGregor, Kurt Heise, John Kivela, Al Pscholka, Eileen Kowall,Bill LaVoy, Charles M. Brunner, Joe Haveman

MUCC Policy Resolution(s):

AC310696 Seek to declare fish and wildlife of utmost importance and vest all authority in the Natural Resources Commission, remove fish and wildlife habitat management from political interference and give Natural Resources Commission adequate authority to carry on all essential phases of a broad conservation program. Assure the commission form of decisionmaking, public access and participation is present in natural resource decisions.

  • Britspanman

    So while the anti-hunting crowd spreads their lies and misinformation, we can be proud of our traditions as hunters and fishers. Hopefully our natural resources will be managed scientifically without interference from both the antis and the politicians, but, be assured that we will have to fight off challenges from both.

    • carlee87

      You hunters are anti-wildlife terrorists.

    • carlee87

      We don’t want you wildlife hating, wildlife killing terrorist hunters destroying OUR wildlife.

    • http://www.facebook.com/josh.vanderschaaf.1 Josh Vanderschaaf

      Anti hunting groups are a bunch of extremist wanting to push thier beliefs on other people…. carlee87 Us hunters, trappers,and fisherman are the only reason the wildlife across the US not just Michigan tthrives. WE pay the License fees we by the guns ammo and archery equipment and pay the Pittman- Robertson taxes. We pay the DNR and the NRC to do the jobs that they do….. What do the Anti hunting groups do for the wildlife? they do nothing they pay nothing. All they do is file lawsuits and cost the tak payers money while the lawyers fill their pockets… Oh yeah the sit around and bitch and call sportsman murders and give death threats to….

      • carlee87

        You wildlife killers are the extremists. You anti-wildlife terrorists do nothing for wildlife except for kill a lot of it.

      • carlee87

        We will keep fighting to protect our wildlife while you anti-wildlife terrorists will continue to kill it.

  • Evelyine15

    It’s funny how people want their voting rights, freedom of speech,etc etc except when it benefits them. Americans cry for their freedom of speech and then try to shut the mouths of people who speak against what they want. I wish I could trust the DNR with making good decisions on wildlife management; however, I don’t think it’s up to humans to manage wildlife. By the way, Britspanman, no one wants to take away your ‘right’ to hunt;it’s just that some people recognize the value of life and understand the how inhumane it is to brutally murder an unsuspecting animal for sport. It’s not at all about YOU its about them. PS – sitting in a tree and waiting for an animal to walk by is not hunting. It’s laughable that hunting is supposedly a “masculine” sport. Why don’t you do something important instead.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dan.macut Dan Macut

      Evelyine…of course you can trust the DNR and the trained wildlife biologists to manage our wildlife.
      Do you not think that the bulldozer has forever changed our landscape and the balance that Mother Nature provided at one time? Humans have taken over and the house you live in has contributed to that imbalance. There is a Disney fantasy that pervades our society that spends more time on concrete than dirt and has a complete detachment from the reality that human management is the only way we can ensure healthy wildlife for the future. And there are plenty of people that want to take away my right to hunt (i.e. Doves), people that do not understand the need for wildlife management and vote more on emotion than science…such as yourself, who cannot possible fathom that the death from my arrow or bullet is infinitely less painful than death by tooth, fang or claw or is somehow more “murderess.” You are right about one thing, it is about them, the wildlife, and not me / us. If not for the sportsmen of this state that sponsored the transplanting of the moose, turkey, pheasant, wolf, etc. there would be none. What have you contributed? Want to? Buy a hunting license.

      • Evelyine15

        Thank you for at least being reasonable in your response. I sincerely appreciate that. Perhaps humans need to intervene into wildlife management; however, I don’t believe murder is the answer. If any species at all needs to be managed its humans but no one is going to insist that hunting humans is the answer and anyway I highly doubt that hunters hunt over a concern to control wildlife. I must reiterate what I meant when I say no one wants to take away your right to hunt. Again, its not about taking away your right; it’s just that hunting happens to be the cause of mercilessly killing animals, which I think is wrong. What I find interesting is that you care so much about losing your right to hunt but support losing your right to vote on issues such as this. That is my main concern here. I wonder what will stop someone from walking up and shooting my dog. I don’t think anything is. Perhaps only mercy does – which is based on emotion, a human attribute it seems you care nothing for. As for me, I’ve contributed quite a bit thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1026686527 Laura Kay Coyle

      Hunting is not important? Would you rather the deer population starve in the winter or die of disease? How many hunters do you know who do not eat what they kill or donate it to charity? And everyone who complains about the “cruelty” of hunting, what about livestock? Unless you don’t eat meat, maybe you should check out the very few and very limited Michigan laws regarding the humane treatment of livestock. And those laws only cover any “animal which can or may be used in and for the preparation of meat or meat products.” MEAT…this does not include poultry, which accounts for 90% of animals bred for the sole purpose of human consumption. Chickens are warehoused with less than a square foot of space each, they are pumped so full of hormones they grow at unnatural rates and develop illnesses that leave them blind, deformed, and eventually so weak they spend their days lying in their own excrement because they’re too weak to stand. I’ll leave it to you to do some research on the subject, although I highly doubt you’ll be any different from most people who yell from their soapboxes armed with nothing but indoctrinated beliefs and narrow minds. In the meantime, enjoy your KFC, but keep extolling the evils of hunting.

  • Notholierthenthou

    It sounds to me that Evelyine15 wants to run the lives of others irregardless of her lack of knowledge in the hunting sports. Anyone having any experience of the hunting

    sports knows that the time and effort put in by legal hunters far outweighs the lies and mouthy attitudes of those who don’t. Hunting is not killing, it is the total enjoyment of watching the beauty of nature, the harvesting of game birds and animals to control the spread of diseases, to witness the lives of these animals in their environment, and to love all that God has provided for mankind to enjoy and exist for. I have no hard feelings toward non-hunters of fisher persons, but I do have a problem with unknowing zealots who idiotically try to run the lives of others. Usually they try to do this with the backing of others who fall into the same class they came from. I have friends and family who do not hunt or fish, some are Vegans, but through their association with the outdoor sports people in their family they understand the need for harvesting fish and game. Only those who are cruel and evil would intentionally want our wildlife to be left to their own demise. I don’t know of any organization who would provide or could afford to provide the hundreds of millions of dollars the license fees brings in to take care of our wildlife.

    • carlee87

      Hunting is killing. You hunters are wildlife haters and wildlife killers.

      • http://www.facebook.com/andy.evans.589 Andy Evans

        Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison

        • lolyourlogic

          Yeah, the Bible! Eat that! No one can contest the word of the Bible nor any other book written by elderly sky men!

    • http://www.facebook.com/josh.vanderschaaf.1 Josh Vanderschaaf

      I couldnt nave said it better myself. you hit the nail on the Buddy

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1847838509 James O’Flaherty

      This page doesn’t begin to present this bill as it’s actually written…a dog could become a game animal in the way it’s written ! As a hunter I’m aware that, to many, it’s still just about getting drunk and killing anything that moves. This bill would provide even stronger support for those as well. A broad brush is still a broad brush whoever’s holding it. Read the bill !!!

      • http://www.facebook.com/youngedyke Drew YoungeDyke

        Yes, please read the bill. Dogs could not become game, neither could any other domestic animal. That’s just another BS talking point HSUS sent out to its members when it was introduced. Why is it that everyone who posts a comment defending the anti-hunters on this thread feels the need to proclaim “As a hunter myself…” Frankly, it’s even worse to support HSUS if you are a hunter, because you’re supporting the eradication of the rights of your fellow hunters.

  • carlee87

    These anti-wildlife legislators are trying to block the voice of the people in Michigan. Hunters are wildlife killers. They hate wildlife. They are fake conservationists.

    • http://www.facebook.com/josh.vanderschaaf.1 Josh Vanderschaaf

      The only Anti wildlife is the wolf huggers.. They think the wolf is some mystical bein meant to be worshiped.. The truth is that they are killers the were born to kill. Some times I think you wolf huggers get off at the site of deer carcasses with the fetus ripped out or a cow with the hind quarters ate out laying on the ground still alive. see Carlee and the rest of the wolf cult they love this kind of destruction and suffering.. Me on the other hand I dont like to see any animal suffer… See people now how to manage wildlife… Wolves all they know is to kill and consume and they will kill everylast deer till there is none left then they will kill whatever else the can sink their teeth into a wolf doesnt know what management is…. But dont worry Carlee we wont kill all the wolves we will leave a few for you to go and hug….. See its called MANAGEMENT!!!!!

  • Bruce Welnetz

    SB 288 erodes the rights of citizens to challenge wildlife laws through the referendum process. MUCC you should hang your head in shame. This isn’t about hunting or what species should be hunted; it is about the right to challenge laws afforded citizens through the Michigan Constitution.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dan.macut Dan Macut

      I will certainly trust an educated wildlife biologist over an uneducated voter any day. But you’re wrong, this is about hunting and people trying to put an end to it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1847838509 James O’Flaherty

        Read the bill!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Catherine-Parker/542733041 Catherine Parker

      That’s the worst of it, to be sure.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.vanderschaaf.1 Josh Vanderschaaf

    Its funny how people that know they about to lose the battle. start to cry and piss and moan. Poposal G was suppose to put an end to the Anti hunting groups pulling their dirty little tricks to stop whatever they thought they could with frivilous law suits that cost tax payers moneyand vote referendems.. Sorry all your hard work gettin all those signatures for the Wolf hunt to go to public ballot is all gonna be a waste. along with the dove hunt will be reinstated.. Sound science is the key to management of any species not a vote by a uneducated public especially with wolves considering that 75% of Michigan’s population doesnt have to deal with them. it is about time that the polititions stood up to anti hunting groups and closed the door on them for good.

    • carlee87

      It’s not over until the fat lady sings you anti-wildlife terrorist.

    • carlee87

      The wildlife in MI belongs to us you wildlife hating inbred. not some inbred from South Carolina.

    • http://www.facebook.com/josh.vanderschaaf.1 Josh Vanderschaaf

      Sorry to tell you Carllee87 I was born and raised in michigan I lived there for 34yrs… I return at least 4 times a year to see my family and bow hunt some deer… looks like Im gonna have to plan another trip to the UP to mow down a worthless vermin wolf.. I just love how all you anti’s know what to do is throw insults at people and threats . Hey just a tip if your gonna look at someones FB profile and insult them you should look at the whole thing before you draw conclusion….. Just goes to show every one how psyco you people really are

  • Britspanman

    Oh you antis are so precious, so much venom in your minds. Tell me, what have you or the groups you belong to done today or historically for the betterment of animal species? I do know if it were left to ya’ll we would have many less wild critters running, flying and swimming in our great outdoors. Go ahead, run off at the mouth and flail about, the truth hurts doesn’t it?

    • carlee87

      We protect wildlife species and you wildlife terrorists kill it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.vanderschaaf.1 Josh Vanderschaaf

    Britspanman… Carlee is just a poor lil girl sad lil city folk that wants to think the anti’s love the wildlife wore than us outdoorsmen and women do. They do nothing but blow hot air… The reason she is so upset is she like you and I and all the other sportsmen know this is a done deal. If this bill doesnt pass I will be extremely surprised.. Like I said before the DNR and NRC are sick and tired of the anti’s meddle n in their bussiness. proposal G was meant to stop this crap.. Well it didnt… This bill will stop it for good and that makes me a Michigan Native born and raised in west Michigan proud of my hame state.. Michigan has a deep histrory and tradition in hunting fishing and trapping and no group out there should be able to dictate what what wildlife our DNR see’s fit for us to harvest

    • http://www.facebook.com/elizabeth.dyas.14 Elizabeth Dyas

      Educated, wealth providing, tourists living in Michigan and millions travelling from outside our wonderful state treasure the idea of our Michigan wolves . Most of us will never see one, but there is always the possibility we might hear one, or a pack “howling” while we are hunting or camping. They have dignity and protect their own. (the wolves-not we Michiganders.) Unless you intend to hunt wolves to feed your family, leave them alone and maybe hunt other life forms – your choice!. Wouldn’t you be pissed off if more than 250,000 of youf “fellow hunters” signed a petition to protect a right you demanded or an animal you had respect for?, , and no one listened in our state to what you wanted on the state’s ballot? Go hunt some roaches or rats. They’re nutritious but they are to difficult to turn into floor or wall trophies. A carnivore from Michigan..

  • rork

    Science can tell us about the likely costs and benefits of wildlife management actions. It can tell us about who the winners and losers will be in policy decisions. It doesn’t usually tell us which of several options is most acceptable to the people or best. There are often economic impacts to be weighed (fishing is a good example) and recreational opportunities for people to consider. It’s more than simply applying science.

  • rork

    Before I support the second one (SB 289) I’d like to learn about the probable consequences of it. It’s not obvious to me. I’m a hunter and angler, not a lawyer. Any ideas?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Catherine-Parker/542733041 Catherine Parker

    I do wish all of you would keep your comments relative to this bill package!

  • Britspanman

    If you antis wanted to do something constructive, you should have railed against SB 78 the Bill to eliminate Biodiversity Stewardship Areas. Passage of SB 78 will do more to harm wild critters than all the regulated hunting and fishing combined. Also, you should be opposing development of farmland and wild land into suburbs and shopping malls. Especially those of you who live in suburbs and patronize shopping malls. This human usurpation of those lands has been more detrimental to wildlife than all the regulated hunting and fishing has ever been.
    Sportsmen and women have not been hypocritical in their utilization of these renewable resources, preferring instead to fund programs necessary to wildlife and fisheries maintenance. So rail all you want, but, realize that your very existence is a detriment to wildlife.

  • http://www.facebook.com/andy.evans.589 Andy Evans

    Turn in over to the NRC. Often a legislative body can fall prey to certain special interests – people who want to impose their ethics, beliefs, and values on everyone. I find the trend of trying to legislate morality to be very troubling. Laws should protect life, liberty, and property – let our systems of free speech and education determine the rest. IMHO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1026686527 Laura Kay Coyle

    In almost all instance, I support

  • http://www.facebook.com/tom.heritier Tom Heritier

    I find amazing how people can justify their own opinions. Out right lies and half truths, it’s the same old bait and switch the issue. The bottom line is scientific wildlife management. Not emotional rationale.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.ha.923 Mike Ha

    If you are against hunting. I hope you are a vegetarian because animals locked up in cages (fenced in areas), then killed to fill your plate is worse than living free and dying by a bullet quickly.

  • Angela

    I really don’t like to see this splitting of camps (them and us). As a non-hunter, I definately support hunting. As a semi-vegetarian, i understand the cruelty we usher upon commercially raised meat animals/birds. Its obvious to me which is more cruel; hunting vs commercial meat. I am not “them” and I am not “us”. Hunters are not all cruel, and animal right people are not all extremists. I don’t really understand why people like to kill bears, and I don’t understand why its hard for folks to grasp the fact that deer populations would starve to death if not for thinning the popullations through hunting. There is ALWAYS more than one way to look at any topic, and we should spend more time understanding both sides of any issue, and less time “drawing a line” and making assumptions. Can we treat each other with more respect while we discuss our differences? Please?

  • Outdoorsman

    I’ve been a hunter for all my life, about 45 years actively hunting, fishing & at one time trapping.

    I’ve two daughters, one is vegetarian and the other just a average person who buys her food at the store.

    What strikes me as crazy in regards to this “debate” is it’s centered on a predator, the wolf. The wolf is one of natures finer works when it comes to surviving by eating other animals. Very few indeed, in nature, compare to the wolves. Once the wolves were almost eliminated, in the main 48 states of the USA they pretty much were, but held on in Canada & Alaska. But the wolves have managed a come back in 8 states so far. (With a good deal of help from the federal USFW service and state game agencies.) For any who do not know the states with wolves are: Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin & Wyoming. Taken together these 8 states have just over 6,000 wolves. This is well over the goals set by USFW for recovery of the grey wolf.

    Sport hunting can & I believe should be one method of controlling wolf numbers. No different really than with numerous other wildlife types.
    Minimum numbers of breading pairs/packs should be established by the Mi DNR that would be the “threshold” before a hunting season could be set in any given year. I’d further suggest a minimum total population number in MI upper penn. prior to consideration of any such season………400 perhaps as the minimum number of individual wolves & 50 packs/pairs. Season limits set should be CONSERVATIVE for at least the first 5 years, to be sure we don’t take to many out of the population.

    Wolves crossing the ice & into the lower penn. are however another matter. There are a lot more people & less habitat in the lower for such a predator as wolves. This is not to say wolves could not be allowed in the lower penn. but will never be able to reach anywhere near the same numbers as in the upper.

    I like the idea of having wolves in MI, a great addition to the states wildlife. To bad the thumbs wolverine died, I’d have loved to see a small population of those as well.

    As to the passage of this law making wildlife management to be protected from never ending lawsuits & referendums………I LOVE IT! ! Far, far to much money across this nation has been wasted due to lawsuits by extremists who demand that wildlife is managed their way or the highway…….. That has to end & this legislation should take care of that. Perhaps some of these groups could even consider investing some of the money they have to go toward habitat projects for what ever wildlife they’d like to use it for. Well, at least we can hope for that some day………

  • Marty Kunz

    I hunt, I don’t always kill. I own natural wild property, undeveloped for wildlife. Sometimes I hunt farmland. The farmers really appreciate me getting rid of those pesky deer so the Vegans can have their unnatural foods. I practice shooting for a quick clean kill. I hate seeing deer with their back legs ripped off crawling in terror, waiting for a slow painful death. 50,000 cars hit deer per year here in Michigan. Plus the squirrels, rabbits and other small animals and birds quivering in their last death throws at the side of the road. Do you so called anti-animal killers own a car? Maybe you should walk if it saves just one animal. Wildlife management is really people management to protect wildlife. Unprotected wildlife gets slaughtered into extinction because animals get in the way of human activity. Cities and farms don’t want animals or trees. It’s hard to see the wildlife with all of the crops in the way. We need farming, ranching, nature and hunting all in balance.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.rouwhorst Rob Rouwhorst

    Never mind the countless amounts of money sportsmen and
    women put into efforts for conserving habitat for these creatures to
    survive. Fighting every year to reduce the environmental impact of urban
    sprawl and pollution! The days of killing everything in sight are gone
    and it is because of the sportsmen and women who have worked countless hours
    and fought to conserve and protect the environment from human influence. Those anti’s who oppose biological experts,
    obviously did not hear what the Wolves expert had to say. He stated “this is something we can’t afford
    to screw up and something we need to get right” maybe this is just the
    biologist in me coming out but it sounds to me like he is talking about making
    sure we don’t degrade the population below a rate where it cannot recover. I’d say the DNR has done a pretty bang up job
    of this looking at the deer populations in our state, and how the bear
    populations have been growing and expanding all over our state.

    It obvious that these anti’s do not know anything about true
    conservation and believe preservation will save everything and help the
    species. Maybe we should take a note
    from the light goose populations that are extremely overpopulated and are destroying
    their nesting habitats and removing multiple other species, both plants and
    animals, from this extremely delicate habitat.
    The conservationists (AKA hunters) are the only people working towards
    helping this species reach habitat sustaining numbers and trying to avoid the
    inevitable population collapse and catastrophic die off of this species when
    the habitats utilized by these species finally collapses.

    To repeat what the DNR biologist have said and shown. One data point does not say anything about a
    decline or incline, in order for a correlation or a statistical trend to be
    considered multiple points of data must be used. Anti’s stop trying to push the absolutely Ludacris
    agenda! As a biologist I know I am more
    qualified than most to weigh in on the bills being presented here and even I do
    not have the data nor the scientific experience to warrant a valid, sound
    decision on this topic and many other natural resource management topics. What makes any of you anti’s qualified to
    make these decisions? Clearly you all
    screwed up with the dove vote in 2006, stating the most prolific GAME bird in
    the world should be protected. This wolf
    bill will be no different. Please I
    employ any of you anti’s to show me relevant, reliable, non-bias, statistical data
    that supports a declining wolf population in our state. Then I and sportsmen and women alike will
    gladly hear the argument and use that data to make the proper decision on wolf
    management. If not stop medaling with
    issues you all can’t even begin to understand, and leave the proper decisions
    to the experts who have the data and know how to use it to promote and conserve
    the success of the species.

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