“Last Call” – Final Push Needed For License Fee Package

The State Senate is on the threshold of voting on HB 4668, the Hunting/Fishing license restructuring package which will provide long term funding for natural resource management that is much needed.  Although it was just a week ago that we thought that this was a “done deal,” it’s now our understanding that at least one State Senator from our region (Senator John Moolenaar) remains opposed to this appropriations package.DNRlogo

We must respectfully ask Senator Moolenaar to reconsider his position and remind him that this is not merely about regional frustration over the bovine TB management issue and deer baiting and feeding.  It’s about adequately funding fish and wildlife management, hatchery maintenance and improvements, more conservation officers, further forestry habitat management, grants for habitat “partners” (conservation clubs, watershed councils, Friends groups, etc.), and a more efficient license sales system.  For more details, the DNR has published a List of Outcomes which outlines how the estimated $18,000,000 in annual funding will be applied.

Although many legislators bristle at the suggestion of its relevance, the fact remains that it has been 17 years since the State of Michigan has increased hunting/fishing license fees.  Further, the DNR has received ever-diminishing funding from the State’s general fund and is dependent on license fees and federal funding from the sale of hunting/fishing equipment and ammunition.  Supporting HB 4668 will represent a significant investment in those assets which play a critical role in the economy of Michigan’s economy.

Our advocacy is critical now.  Please take a moment to call Senator Moolenaar’s office and any of the other Senators on the list below.  Since some Senators have at least anecdotally used it as a measure of public support, we would also encourage you to visit the MUCC web site and participate in their on-line poll regarding the license fee increase.  It’s at the bottom of their home page and at last check support stands at 60%.

The Senators who are on the fence (see list below) about this issue need to see that hunters, anglers and advocates on behalf of our forests, waters and wildlife support the license restructuring and the conservation benefits which will result from its passage.

We ask that you and your family and friends call those members of the Michigan State Senate whose names appear below. Since a vote is expected early this week, the passage of this important piece of legislation may well depend on this “Last Call.”

Tory Rocca

517-373-7315

Judith Emmons

517-373-3760

Joe Hune

517-373-2420

John Moolenaar

517-373-7946

David Robertson

517-373-1636

Phil Pavlov

517-373-7708

Dave Hildenbrand

517-373-1801

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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