Protect and conserve
A petition to manage and protect Michigan’s beautiful wildlife passed the Senate last week and requires only one more legislative body’s vote of confidence to take effect.
Supported by nearly 300,000 Michiganders who exercised their constitutional right to petition state government, the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act decrees the DNR’s Natural Resources Commission be responsible for determining future conservation and management actions in the best interest of the state’s citizens and species.
Because it began as a citizen petition, the Conservation Act does not require the Governor’s stamp of approval, so if taken up by Speaker Jase Bolger and passed by the full House on Aug. 27, the legislation will go into effect and eliminate the need for future initiatives addressing the issue.
“Using scientifically sound wildlife management policies is crucial to protecting Michigan’s native species from invasive ones. This citizen initiative was a grassroots effort led by Michigan residents, and we need to listen to the true will of the people.”
— Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo
Management under the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act includes natural processes as well as active management to influence population control, which are important to protecting Michigan’s natural wildlife and habitats.
Only specific situations warrant active intervention by scientists, such as when:
- A population has an unnaturally high or low concentration as a result of human influences;
- Human health and safety are at risk due to a certain population; or
- An invasive species threatens native species or natural processes.
The Conservation Act helps protects Michigan’s beautiful wildlife and the economic viability of the state from invasive species like Asian Carp, as well as deals with challenges from other species, such as the state’s expanding wolf population.
As an added bonus, the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act offers free hunting and fishing licenses to active duty military as a way to thank Michigan’s service members.
Be sure to follow along in the coming weeks to see if this citizen initiative is taken up by the House of Representatives.