LANSING, Mich.— Sen. Tom Casperson says he has fully endorsed a citizen-led effort to protect the scientific management of fish and wildlife in Michigan.
“I am proud to put my full support behind this effort led by Michigan residents to ensure that decisions on how best to manage fish and wildlife in Michigan are based on sound science and made by those who will put the interests of our natural resources first,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “I encourage everyone to actively support the effort by signing a petition, asking your friends and family to sign, and volunteering to help so the initiative can be considered by the Legislature.”
The petition for the citizen-initiated law, called the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, is sponsored by the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, a coalition of many conservation organizations and hunting, fishing and trapping groups from across the state of Michigan. The groups include the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance; UP Whitetails, Inc.; UP Whitetails, Inc. of Dickinson County; UP Whitetails, Inc. of Marquette County; Negaunee Rod & Gun Club; and the UP Bear Houndsmen.
“It is time for us all to work together to stop the anti-hunting groups from using their multi-millions gained through deceitful television ads to mislead Michigan residents into approving more anti-hunting referendums,” Casperson said.
Under the proposed law, the Natural Resource Commission (NRC) may designate game species using sound science; the NRC would have the exclusive authority to issue fisheries orders; and active military members could receive free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses. To support the NRC’s ability to manage fisheries, $1 million is appropriated so that the state can conduct rapid response activities necessary to prevent and eliminate aquatic invasive species, such as Asian carp.
The petition drive must gather at least 258,000 valid signatures in 180 days to place the law before the Legislature.
Information about signing a petition and volunteering can be found by visiting www.citizenswildlife.com.