Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On September 22, Michigan Senate Resolutions (SR) 30 and 38, both of which support the advancement of hunting and wildlife conservation in the state, were reportedly going to be up for consideration before the Michigan Senate. They were since moved off of the agenda, but there is still time for both pieces of legislation to be voted on before session concludes at the end of the year.
SR 30, sponsored by Michigan Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Senator Dale Zorn, encourages the Natural Resources Commission to add Sandhill Cranes to the game species list and seeks U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval to establish a Sandhill Crane hunting season. Currently, several states offer a Sandhill Crane season, including states close to Michigan in the Mississippi Flyway, such as Minnesota, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Once almost extinct from the Great Lakes State, a 2016 breeding survey reported that there were 48,900 breeding Sandhill Cranes in Michigan. Hunting of any migratory bird is strictly regulated to ensure the health and sustainability of bird populations. Although the Natural Resources Commission and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have not brought up the issue, the federal government has indicated that they would approve a Sandhill Crane hunt in Michigan.
SR 38, sponsored by Michigan Sportsmen’s Caucus Member Senator Ed McBroom, urges the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the Michigan gray wolf from the federal endangered and threatened species list. According to a recent survey conducted by the DNR, there are a minimum of 695 wolves in the state. The Revised Recovery Plan of 1992 established population goals for Michigan at 100 wolves, a threshold exceeded in 1996. The recovery of the gray wolf in the Great Lakes Region is a success story and should serve as an example for future restoration efforts in Michigan and elsewhere.
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