Several hundred hunters, anglers and trappers gathered at the Capitol on Thursday to deliver a clear and unified message to Michigan’s Legislature: We stand with you on the issue of science-based wildlife management.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder visited with attendees and the event kicked off with a rally which included speeches from Sen. Tom Casperson, sponsor of Senate Bills 288 and 289, Rep. Jon Bumstead, sponsor of HB 4552 and 4553, and Sen. Mike Green, Sen. Dave Hildebrand, Rep. Mike Shirkey, Dr. Bill Moritz, Deputy Director of the Department of Natural Resources, and Erin McDonough, Executive Director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
“Today’s Camo At The Capitol rally was a way to show our support to those legislators who have stood firmly behind the Scientific Wildlife Management package in both the House and the Senate and to talk with legislators about the importance of ensuring that the decision made by Michigan voters with passage of Proposal G is upheld and the importance of long-term conservation funding,” said Erin McDonough, Executive Director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “We are confident that message was heard loud and clear and the fact that 41 Representatives from both parties have signed on as co-sponsors of the Scientific Wildlife Management package in the House shows without doubt that this is not a partisan issue. This is an issue of making good on what Michigan’s voters overwhelmingly supported in passing Proposal G.”
During the rally, Sen. Casperson said the Scientific Wildlife Management package is about ensuring that the votes cast by Michigan residents in support of Proposal G are honored.
“When we’ve got a group (like the Humane Society of the United States) that can come in with millions of dollars, use our tools within our state to get an outcome that takes our rights away, we should be concerned about that,” he said. “That’s exactly what they are doing. Make no mistake about that.”
“We have people that want this referendum to go after our hunting rights that now don’t like Proposal G. They said it doesn’t work or they say we didn’t get what we thought we were getting. And somehow they think that HSUS can put together a referendum and the Michigan citizens will get what they think they are getting. It’s the most hypocritical thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Rep. Bumstead urged attendees to not only get involved but to make sure the facts about the Scientific Wildlife Management Package are made available.
“It’s really important that you get involved. Write letters and e-mails, write letters to the editor. It’s important that we get the proper information out,” he said. “A lot of (legislators) just don’t know. They weren’t brought up in the outdoors like we were. They hear from both sides. And sometimes they aren’t hearing the truth. We need to present the facts to them in a respectful manner. We can do this together. We can make this happen.”
The Camo at the Capitol Event was co-hosted by the following organizations:
- Michigan United Conservation Clubs
- Michigan Trappers and Predators Callers Association
- Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, Michigan Bear Hunters Association
- U.P. Bear Houndsman Association
- Anglers of the AuSable
- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
- Michigan Gun Owners Association
- Michigan Trout Unlimited
- Michigan Charterboat Association
- Michigan QDMA
- Ducks Unlimited Michigan
- Pheasants Forever Michigan
- Michigan National Wild Turkey Federation
- SCI Michigan
- Ruffed Grouse Society
- National Wildlife Federation
- Michigan Council of The International Federation of FlyFishers
Image courtesy Michigan United Conservation Clubs