Citizen-initiated Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act passes Legislature

LANSING—Citizen-initiated legislation that would ensure decisions affecting Michigan’s fish and wildlife are made using science and scientific methods received final approval from the Legislature with Tuesday’s passage by the Michigan House of Representatives.

“I applaud my colleagues in the House for their diligent work yesterday afternoon,” said Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, who led support of the measure in the Michigan Senate on Wednesday, August 13. “It is imperative that the public policy decisions affecting Michigan’s great outdoors and wildlife are based on sound science, not partisan politics or emotions.

“This proposal – brought forth by the citizens of Michigan – does just that.”

The citizen-initiative was submitted to the Legislature with the verified signatures of more than 297,000 Michigan voters, well beyond the 258,000 needed. The state Senate and House had 40 days to either confirm or reject the proposal. An initiative is not presented to the governor for signature or veto.

The measure was previously approved in the Senate by a vote of 23-10 with five members excused and passed the House yesterday with a 65-43 vote. With House passage, it is now law and will go into effect next year.

Under the law:

·         Decisions affecting the taking of fish and game will be made using principles of sound scientific fish and wildlife management;

·         Active members of the military would be able to receive free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and

·         Additional appropriations would be provided for fishery management within Michigan and prevention, control and/or elimination of aquatic invasive           species, including Asian carp.

Green described the proposal as one that was beneficial to Michigan wildlife and the millions of sportsmen and women who call the state home.

“The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act was not a partisan proposal. It was a proposal to take politics and politicians out of wildlife management decisions and replace it with sound science we all agree on,” Green said. “With its passage, Michigan sportsmen and women can be confident that our fish and game will be properly managed and, when necessary, protected so that our outdoor traditions and way of life can be passed on to future generations.”