Ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Michigan Clears Way for State Management of Wolves, RMEF Offers Support

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation supports efforts in Michigan to maintain that state’s right to manage its wildlife. Governor Rick Snyder just signed a bill into law that opens the door to Michigan’s first wolf hunting season since wolves went on the Endangered Species List in 1973. At that time some four decades ago, the known population dipped to a relative few wolves but conservation efforts led to a present day estimate of more than 650. 

When asked about the legislation Snyder said “I didn’t sign a wolf bill recently. I was signing a bill that dealt with sound scientific management principles for game and fish.” To be specific, Senate Bill 288 gives the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Commission responsibility to regulate the taking of fish and establish hunting seasons for wild game. The new law supersedes efforts by animal rights groups seeking to repeal the hunt by placing it on the 2014 ballot. 

Below is a news release distributed in Michigan indicating RMEF’s support: 

RMEF Supports New Michigan Laws Protecting Hunting, Fishing Rights 
Conservationists Thank Governor for Signing SB 288 and 289 into Law 

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bills 288 and 289 into law allowing the Natural Resources Commission to name game species, protect the rights to hunt and fish, and were supported by Michigan's conservation community. 

"Michigan, like other states, needs to manage wolves just as they do elk, deer, bears and all other wildlife,” said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. “There is no real science that disputes the fact that gray wolves are recovered and expanding, and there is no compelling reason why Michigan cannot manage wolf populations in a science-based and sustainable way." 

SB 288 extends the Natural Resources Commission (NRC)’s authority and sound science mandate to naming animals to the game species list, while retaining the Legislature’s authority to do the same and its exclusive authority to remove game species. SB 288 also grants the NRC the exclusive authority to issue fisheries orders, which currently rests with the director of the Department of Natural Resources, and also provides free licenses to active-duty members of the military. SB 289 establishes the rights to hunt and fish in state law, and makes protection of those rights a purpose of the Michigan’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. 

Conservation groups herald the bills as an extension of voter-approved Proposal G of 1996, which granted the Natural Resources Commission exclusive authority over game management and required it to use sound science in its wildlife management decisions. 

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:
RMEF is leading a conservation initiative that protected or enhanced habitat on more than 6.3 million acres—an area larger than Yellowstone, Great Smoky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Yosemite and Rocky Mountain national parks combined. RMEF also is a strong voice for hunters in access, wildlife management and conservation policy issues. RMEF members, partners and volunteers, working together as Team Elk, are making a difference all across elk country. Join us at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.

1 comment:

  1. Michigan followed up by setting dates for its wolf hunt from Nov. 15 through Dec. 31 in three areas of the Upper Peninsula. The quota is for up to 43 of the 658 wolves.