A measure approved by the Michigan House of Representatives today would create the Michigan Wildlife Council, which would create a media plan to educate the public as to the benefits of wildlife management, particularly through hunting, fishing and trapping activities.
House Bill 4993, sponsored by state Rep. Jon Bumstead, will put money from hunting and fishing licenses in a fund for the council to raise public awareness about the scientific benefits of wildlife management through these activities.
“Many people from areas that aren’t big on hunting, fishing and trapping are unaware of the very real scientific benefits of wildlife management through these activities,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “There is a reason for that: word-of-mouth from hunters and fishers is currently the only way information on this topic spreads. This council can lead to a more educated public by using the media to share facts and information about the good these activities can do.”
Under the bill, less than 5 percent of the money the council collects through the surcharge could be spent on administrative costs. The council would consist of nine members each serving two four year terms. The council would then hire a marketing firm, giving preference to Michigan-based companies, to come up with the media plan.
“We’ve modeled this bill and the program that would follow it after a similar program that was done in Colorado with a lot of success,” Bumstead said. “We hope to follow in their footsteps and let the public know the good that can come from these activities.”
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.