Citizen-led measure to help manage Michigan wildlife passes Senate

For Immediate Release 
Aug. 13, 2014
Contact: Marty Fittante

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Tom Casperson announced that citizen-initiated legislation that ensures that Michigan’s fish and wildlife are managed using sound science passed the Senate Wednesday.

The Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act (SFWCA) was initiated by the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, a group of statewide hunting, fishing, and trapping organizations, with tremendous support from Upper Peninsula sportsmen. The groups joined together and gathered more than 374,000 signatures in support of the initiative to ensure that sound management is achieved while protecting hunting and fishing rights from attacks by anti-hunting organizations.

“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 Natural Resources Commission (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 Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act aims to maintain and build upon that objective while ensuring that management by hunting and fishing is preserved for the future. The act would also allow for free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses for active members of the military and provide appropriations for aquatic invasive species prevention, control and eradication efforts such as for the Asian Carp.

“The Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance (UPSA) with its 26,000 members strongly supports efforts of the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management to advance the SFWCA,” said Tony Demboski, UPSA President. “We believe that professional biologists should be relied on to advise the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and NRC members and that our active duty military members be allowed to hunt and fish free of charge.  The UPSA is grateful to the many volunteers and the people in the UP who joined together and made the petition drive a success. It is indicative of the knowledge and respect they have for resource management.”
“Through their tremendous grass roots efforts, the sportsmen of this state should be commended for bringing this initiative to the Legislature to help stop the anti-hunting groups from using their multi-millions gained through deceitful television ads to mislead Michigan residents into approving their anti-hunting agendas,” said Casperson. 

Passage of this measure by the Senate now means the citizen-led initiative only needs approval from the House of Representatives for the initiative to become law. Such action is anticipated by the end of the month.