Contact: Nick Buggia, Upper Midwestern States Manager
On November 3, Michigan voters will have a chance to expand the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) by voting yes on Proposal 1. Proposal 1 will ensure a constitutionally protected revenue source for conservation and outdoor recreation in perpetuity. As previously reported, the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is part of a coalition in support of the proposal.
If passed, this constitutional amendment would remove the cap on the amount of money that can be collected by the MNRTF, which is currently set at $500 million, and allow for more flexibility on how the money is spent to benefit public recreation and public land acquisition, which must be open to hunting and fishing.
Since its creation in 1976 by the legislature, the MNRTF has contributed nearly $2 billion toward land purchases and recreational development projects in all of Michigan’s 83 counties using the money from state oil and gas royalties. At the time, it was thought that if oil and gas companies were going to have an effect on Michigan’s natural resources, land, and water, the money made from those sales should be used to maintain wildlife habitat. This would ultimately ensure that all Michiganders have an opportunity to enjoy the state’s natural beauty. This amendment to the state constitution will ensure that those oil and gas royalties will continue to fund the projects that they were originally intended for and not end up in the state’s general fund.
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?