Today, Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed into law an important hunting reform that will help preserve Michigan’s rich hunting heritage for generations to come. Senate Bill 288, introduced by state Senator Tom Casperson (R-38), passed in the state Senate by a 25 to 11 vote on April 25 and was approved in the state House by a 72 to 38 vote on May 2. SB 288, which took immediate effect, will improve the scientific management of wildlife and ensure that hunting rules and regulations are based on verifiable biological evidence – not a political agenda.
Anti-hunting extremists bombarded Governor Snyder for weeks urging him to veto SB 288 despite its overwhelming approval in the state legislature. Thanks to your calls and e-mails, Governor Snyder sided with Michigan’s hundreds of thousands of hunters rather than a radical, yet vocal, minority.
In addition to other small technical fixes, Senate Bill 288 will make the following pro-hunting improvements:
- Grant the Natural Resources Commission the authority to add species to the game list and establish hunting seasons while retaining the Legislature’s authority to add and remove species from the list;
- Authorize the Natural Resources Commission to regulate fishing and the species of fish taken as they regulate the taking of all other game;
- Expand hunting opportunities for members of the U.S. military;
- Empower the Department of Natural Resources to develop a number of programs for the scientific management of fish and game animals such as hunter education, outreach and research related to hunting, fishing, game animals, predators and prey. This will include hunter/angler recruitment and retention and wildlife population surveys.
Since the scientific management of wildlife in Michigan results in such numerous advantages, it is no surprise that the state legislature and Governor Snyder have chosen to direct the management of wildlife in this way. This common sense approach will ensure that hunters in Michigan will continue to enjoy the state’s hunting heritage for generations to come.