The Michigan House of Representatives passed the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act today with a bipartisan vote of 65-43 . The citizen initiative, which passed the Senate on August 13 and was supported by the signatures of almost 300,000 registered voters, allows the Natural Resources Commission to name game species and issue fisheries orders using sound science, creates a $1 million rapid response fund to prevent Asian carp, and provides free hunting and fishing licenses for active military members.
“We are very thankful to the legislators who voted for sound science, the voters who signed the petition, the organizations who supported it, and the tireless volunteers who collected the signatures of almost 300,000 registered Michigan voters,” said Dan Eichinger, executive director for Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “This is an important step to protecting the rights to hunt, fish and trap in Michigan from radical animal rights organizations.”
The initiative also renders moot two referendums sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a Washington, D.C.-based anti-hunting organization, which sought to repeal two bills that would allow a regulated hunting season for wolves in certain areas of the Upper Peninsula where they have killed pets, dogs and livestock. Because the initiative contains an appropriation, it is not subject to a third referendum by HSUS or its front group, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.
“We thought it was important to listen to the will of the 300,000 registered voters who brought this initiative to us,” said Representative Jon Bumbstead (R-Newago). “This is about more than wolves. It’s about protecting the rights of our constituents to hunt and fish by managing our fish and wildlife with sound science.”
Passage of the citizen initiative settles the wolf hunt controversy, which has moved back and forth over the past two years, providing the certainty that Department of Natural Resources biologists need to move forward with wolf management.
Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management is a coalition of conservation, hunting, fishing and trapping groups and individuals including the Michigan chapters of Safari Club International, the Michigan Bear Hunters Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance, U.P. Whitetails, Inc., the U.P. Bear Houndsmen, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and the United States Sportsmen’s Alliance. The act has also received the endorsement of the National Wildlife Federation, the Michigan Salmon and Steelhead Fishermen’s Association, the Lake St. Clair Walleye Association, the Lake St. Clair chapter of Muskies, Inc., and numerous local conservation groups throughout Michigan.
Drew YoungeDyke, Grassroots & Public Relations | 734-272-2584 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Logo courtesy Michigan United Conservation Clubs