Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On November 7, the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a breakfast briefing that provided an opportunity for legislators, conservation organizations, Department of Natural Resources staff and members of the Natural Resource Commission to discuss conservation issues and activities across the state. This briefing focused on Pheasants Forever’s mission and membership in Michigan; programs such as No Child Left Indoors and the Adopt-A-Game-Area Program; and, legislative issues such as the Michigan Pheasant Stamp.
The event was well attended with about 50 people joining for the breakfast and presentations, including Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Triston Cole (R), Rep. Leslie Love (D), and Sen. Jon Bumstead (R).
The briefing’s presenters focused on the important habitat work that Pheasants Forever does in Michigan. Each year, Pheasants Forever and its 30 active state chapters enhance and maintain over 15,000 acres of grassland, wetland, and food plot projects across the state. They also partner with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to accelerate grassland habitat on state lands through their Adopt-A-Game-Area Program.
Caucus Advisory Council Chair Bryan Burroughs (Michigan Trout Unlimited) also spoke on the importance of Proposal G that was passed by the voters in 1996. Proposal G granted the Natural Resources Commission exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game in this state. The amendment also requires the Commission, to the greatest extent practicable, to use principles of sound scientific management in making decisions regarding the taking of game.
In light of the rise of anti-hunting legislation, as well as the detrimental effects of well-meaning legislation that is not based on the best available science, it is important for the conservation community to have the opportunities to communicate with legislators. Through these opportunities, we can remind legislators of the safeguards in place to help protect and advance our outdoor heritage and the science-based methods through which we manage our fish and wildlife resources.
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?