Michigan Senate passes NRC wildlife management bill

The Natural Resources Commission is one step closer to having the authority to name any animal a game species. The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act passed through the Michigan Senate earlier today.

If it’s signed into law, the act will put the decision on hunting animals like wolves in the hands of the NRC’s seven-member panel, which is not an elected body. Proponents of the bill say it will ensure sound management of animals while protecting hunting and fishing rights.

The polarizing piece of legislation gives active military members the opportunity to purchase hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses free of charge. It also provides financial help for aquatic invasive species prevention.

Opponents of the bill claim that it will prevent Michigan voters from weighing in on the pro-wolf hunting proposal headed for the November ballot. They also say it will override two public referendums to repeal wolf hunting.

The legislation now needs approval from the House of Representatives, which should review the bill by the end of the month.