MDNR Fish and Wildlife Funding Help May Be On the Way

We’re trying not to get too excited about the possibility of all of the necessary pieces coming together, but based upon the content of Governor Snyder’s 2014 budget message, repairing the revenue problems associated with an antiquated fish and game license structure appears to have been made a Gubernatorial priority.Gov Snyder

To say that this is welcome news is a considerable understatement. For those of us who have been both complementing and criticizing elements of the numerous strategic plans released for public comment in recent months, the broader process strategy has now become apparent.

In order for a license restructuring plan to be approved for implementation, support will be necessary not only from the Michigan State Legislature, but from the myriad of sportsmen and conservation stakeholder groups as well.  To that end, unveiling strategic plans for wildlife, fisheries, trails, forest management and parks first was appropriate.  For those of us who became consumed with the details of these plans, we may have lost sight of the forest for the trees – that being, “Lay out your plan, values and priorities first, and then tell us what you need in the way of funding to accomplish those goals.”

Although such a process would appear obvious, the complicated and frequently dysfunctional relationships between each of these organizational and institutional elements had reduced the appetite of many over the years to even begin this engagement.

For those of us who have done considerable hand wringing in recent years about the evolution of resource management here in Michigan, this is the best demonstration of how the current model needs to operate in order for it to be effective.

There’s still a long way to go and considerable discussion of the details will be necessary.  For the time being, we’ll try to contain our excitement and hold off on the individual kudos until after such a plan is released and ultimately signed into law.

Here’s the link to the Detroit Free Press article on the Governor’s proposal:

http://www.freep.com/article/20130207/NEWS15/130207030/Gov-Snyder-calls-increased-hunting-fishing-license-fees

About Northern Michigan Conservation Network

The mission of the Northern Michigan Conservation Network is to "connect conservation-minded hunters, anglers, and outdoor enthusiasts to those issues affecting Michigan's forests, waters, and wildlife."

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