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Michigan Residents Battling HSUS

September 12, 2014 - Larry Claypool
*See this column in the September 2014 issue of Ohio Valley Outdoor Times Hunters and conservationist in the state of Michigan have spoken up. We all need to learn from this. They have fought, and apparently won. Late last month a collection of sportsmen, women and outdoor groups and organizations put good use to nearly 300,000 petition signatures to help fight change in the Wolverine State. Michigan may be a battle state for us from the Buckeye State — especially this time of year — but sportsmen must band together when it comes to fighting the antis. One key component of the new Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conversation Act in Michigan was to no longer allow influence from out-of-state anti-hunting organizations — namely the Humane Society of United States. We can hope this will help fight the anti’s efforts across the country. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, based in Columbus, Ohio, was one of the leading organizations that helped pass Michigan’s recent Conservation Act. The legislation — and help with getting a ton of signatures — was collectively assembled by the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management — a coalition of conservation, hunting, fishing and trapping groups and individuals. The information in the new Michigan law reads like this: On August 27, 2014, the Michigan House voted to approve the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The Act, which was brought to legislature by Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, gives the state’s Natural Resources Commission the ability to name game species, designates $1 million in rapid response fund to prevent aquatic invasive species, and provides free hunting and fishing licenses for active-duty military members. “MBHA is excited and proud of our legislators for passing this act into law,” said Tim Dusterwinkle, president of the Michigan Bear Hunter Association (MBHA). “Hunters and anglers in Michigan trust the professional biologists in the DNR to effectively manage our game species. It was gratifying for us to be part of a broad coalition of conservation groups throughout the state taking the fight to the anti-hunters. We hope this effort encourages other states to be proactive in the fight against HSUS.” The Act was presented to the legislature after sportsmen’s organizations, fed up with the barrage of anti-hunting ballot initiatives, collected nearly 300,000 signatures. Because it was submitted to the legislature by sportsmen and women, the measure does not require the approval of Governor Rick Snyder before becoming law. “While Michigan will still face the two November 4 ballot referendums on wolves, this measure removes their sting as the state’s Natural Resource Commission now has the authority to designate game species using sound science, not anti-hunting politics,” said Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s vice president of government affairs. “Our system of wildlife management is designed to be free of politics and anti-hunting rhetoric. Passage of this bill clearly demonstrates that Michigan will no longer allow out-of-state, anti-hunting organizations to misuse the ballot box to further their agenda.” The Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management was made up of groups and individuals that included Michigan chapters of Safari Club International, the Michigan Bear Hunters Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance, U.P. Whitetails, Inc., the U.P. Bear Houndsmen, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance. Michigan, like many other states, have had some real problems battling HSUS. The antis are still trying to “protect” wolves in the state. Reportedly the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected group receives 95% of its funding from out-of-state. HSUS was also behind the 2006 dove hunt ban in Michigan and a failed attempt to ban bear hunting with dogs or bait (1996). Stay tuned, and help fight HSUS when you can. We need to stick together. See the attached flyer for contact information on the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management.


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Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management flyer