Casperson introduces bills to help manage Michigan wildlife

Sen. Tom Casperson introduced legislation Tuesday to advance the scientific management of wildlife in Michigan.

The two-bill package builds upon voter-approved policy from 1996’s Proposal G, which charged the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) with regulating the taking of game based on sound scientific management.

Among other things, the package includes:

  • Right-to-hunt-and-fish language in state statute to recognize their importance for the conservation, preservation and management of the state’s natural resources;
  • Allowing the NRC to add species to the game list and establish hunting seasons while retaining the Legislature’s ability to both add and remove species on the list;
  • Complimentary hunting opportunities for active service members; and
  • Allow the NRC to regulate the taking of fish as they regulate the taking of game.

“Management of wildlife is an issue that constituents routinely raise as one of great concern for economic, recreational and social reasons,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “In 1996, the voters wisely decided that they wanted the NRC to regulate the taking of game based on science.  And, from what I continue to hear, especially lately, the belief that we need to manage game scientifically is even more strongly held today.

“The proposed legislation looks to maintain and build upon that objective while ensuring that management by hunting and fishing is preserved for the future.

“As we look to preserve the future of our wildlife, it also seems fitting to honor those who bravely fight to preserve our freedoms and our future by offering complimentary hunting opportunities to those men and women who are active service members.”

Senate Bills 288 and 289 were referred to the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee.