LANSING, Mich. – May 8, 2013 – Gov. Rick Snyder signed Senate bills 288 and 289 into law today. The bills allow the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to name game species, protect citizens' rights to hunt and fish and were supported by Michigan's conservation community.
"Ducks Unlimited has used sound science to make conservation decisions for more than 75 years, and it's proven again and again to be the right path," said Rebecca Humphries, director of DU’s Great Lakes and Atlantic Region. "This is the right piece of legislation to ensure that professional management leads decision making."
Senate Bill (SB) 288 extends the NRC's authority and sound science mandate to naming animals to the game species list, while retaining the legislature's authority to do the same and its exclusive authority to remove game species. SB 288 also grants the NRC the exclusive authority to issue fisheries orders, which currently rests with the director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and also provides free licenses to active-duty members of the military. SB 289 establishes the rights to hunt and fish as part of state law, and makes protection of those rights a priority within Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act.
"We thank Governor Snyder for continuing Michigan's tradition of separating conservation from politics today," said Erin McDonough, executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs. "These bills protect the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers, and ensure that wildlife management decisions are based on the recommendations of biologists, not out-of-state anti-hunters."
Conservation groups herald the bills as an extension of the 1996 voter-approved Proposal G, which granted the NRC exclusive authority over game management and required it to use sound science in its wildlife management decisions.
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org. Connect with us on our Facebook page at facebook.com/DucksUnlimited, follow our tweets at twitter.com/DucksUnlimited and watch DU videos at youtube.com/DucksUnlimitedInc.