The Michigan Natural Resources Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting Thursday, March 8 at theDiagnosticCenterfor Population and Animal Health atMichiganStateUniversity,4125 Beaumont Road,Lansing. All meetings will be held in Room 101.

The day begins with a 9:30 a.m. meeting of the Policy Committee on Technology, Information, Marketing and Education. The committee will hear a report on the status of the Mentored Youth Hunting program, which began March 1. The new program allows children younger than 10 to hunt with a qualified adult. More information can be found at www.michigan.gov/mentoredhunting.

At 10:30 a.m., the Committee on Finance and Administration will hear an overview of the department’s fiscal year 2012 budget and a report on Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed 2013 budget. The committee will also hear a report on internal auditing services.

The Committee on Wildlife and Fisheries meets at 12:30 p.m. with discussions of elk and bear regulations and waterfowl hunting zones, as well as updates from division chiefs.

The Committee of the Whole meeting begins at 3 p.m. with the director’s report, including a presentation on kid-friendly fishing ponds. Next, the committee will hear a report on legislation affecting the DNR.

At 4 p.m., the annual Shikar Safari Club Officer of the Year award will be presented to aMichiganconservation officer. At 4: 15 p.m., the Michigan Bear Hunters Association will unveil its patch design for the upcoming season.

Public appearances before the NRC begin immediately following these presentations. Those wishing to give public comments to the NRC should contact Debbie Whipple, executive assistant to the NRC, at 517-373-2352 or whippled1@michigan.gov, to register. Registration is also available at the meeting location.

The commission’s regular business meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. For information only, the commission will hear reports on elk regulations and license quotas, waterfowl hunting zones and bear regulations and quotas. In addition, the commission will hear reports on mineral audit program fees and the Michigan Elk Management Plan.

Items eligible for action by DNR Director Rodney Stokes include an order to regulate the Lapeer State Game Area and an order to regulate state forest campgrounds. The Lapeer order addresses problems associated with unlawful entry into the game area as well as target shooting, in particular debris left behind that was used for target practice. The second order requires the Recreation Passport for entry into state forest campgrounds and non-motorized pathways.

The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry intoMichiganstate parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails, and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

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