Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On September 17, the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus hosted a virtual meeting that provided an opportunity for legislators, conservation organizations, and Michigan Department of Natural Resources staff to hear an update on the Michigan Wildlife Council (Council) recent activities. CSF’s Upper Midwestern States Manager and Council Chair Nick Buggia gave the presentation.
The meeting focused on the Council’s creation and mission while touching on how the campaign has evolved over the years and where it plans to go in the future. Sen. Jon Bumstead, Co-Chair of the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, welcomed everyone to the meeting and provided opening remarks. The meeting allowed for a lot of good discussion between legislators and Council members.
The Council was created by the Michigan Legislature in 2013 with a mission to oversee a public education campaign focused on educating the public about the benefits of hunting and fishing, as well as the essential role sportsmen and women play in conservation. Specifically, the Council focuses on educating the public on the importance of hunters and anglers in managing sustainable wildlife populations, explaining how hunting and fishing license sales serve as the primary source of funding for both game and non-game conservation efforts, that hunting and fishing are important drivers of Michigan’s economy, and that these activities are a valued part of Michigan’s cultural heritage. The Council receives $1.00 from every base license and all-species fishing licenses sold to fund this mission.
“Approval of both hunting and fishing remain high in Michigan, but there remains a lot of misconceptions and misinformation surrounding hunting and fishing,” said Buggia. “We are focusing our efforts on educating Michiganders that wildlife needs human management to thrive, and that hunting and fishing are important management tools for healthy and sustainable wildlife populations. Additionally, hunters and anglers provide the vast majority of funding for conservation efforts through the American System of Conservation Funding, which ultimately results in abundant wildlife and wild places for all of Michigan’s citizens to enjoy.”
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?