Why It Matters: State fish and wildlife management agencies, who are responsible for making science-based decisions affecting fish and game populations, must have the authority to take necessary action to ensure the long-term viability of those populations. The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation works closely with partners to oppose bills that create unnecessary obstacles and threaten the science-based conservation of our cherished fish and wildlife resources.
- Michigan House Bill 6192 would strip the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) of important emergency authority to suspend open hunting and fishing seasons when the DNR determines that additional harvest would be detrimental to the population.
- The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), joined by seven partners, submitted a letter to the Michigan Senate Oversight Committee opposing the bill.
- The letter emphasized that for the DNR to properly manage Michigan’s fish and wildlife populations, it must be able to make informed, time-sensitive, science-based decisions.
A bill introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives this past June, which would strip the Michigan DNR of its important ability to suspend open hunting and fishing seasons on depleted fish and game populations, has made its way to the Senate. The Michigan Senate Oversight Committee has received a letter opposing HB 6192 from the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and seven partners, all of whom recognize the harm that this bill would do to the DNR’s ability to effectively manage fish and wildlife populations. The American Sportfishing Association, B.A.S.S., Delta Waterfowl, Fur Takers of America, Houston Safari Club, the National Deer Association, and the Ruffed Grouse Society/American Woodcock Society all joined the sign-on letter.
Michigan is home to more than 1.9 million hunters and anglers who enjoy plentiful opportunities to hunt and fish the state’s strong fish and wildlife populations. The Michigan DNR has only once exercised their emergency power authority to suspend or modify an open season when in 2012 it adjusted limit and size regulations for lake trout in Lake Huron. The Michigan DNR, like other state fish and wildlife management agencies throughout the country, regularly collects population data. With this data, the DNR can make science-based decisions that benefit those populations, which in turn support Michigan sportsmen and women.
If HB 6192 stripped the DNR of its emergency authority to act on the data it collects, any modifications or suspensions of open season on a population determined to be in danger of overharvest would need to be made through the Michigan Natural Resource Commission (NRC). Although the NRC as a body is adequately positioned to make such a decision, its monthly meetings lack the expediency that may be required
As the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation fights in state capitols to protect and advance the time-honored traditions enjoyed by sportsmen and women across the country’s fields and waters, CSF values its many partners that join in that fight through sign-on letters like this one. CSF will continue to find opportunities to engage with partners to protect and advance hunting, angling, recreational shooting, and trapping.