Another Annual Convention has come and passed, and with it, we reflect back on the year behind us, the work we have done and the work that lies ahead. As a true grassroots organization, staff at MUCC would like to thank all of our members who helped participate in the process — whether that was writing a resolution, partaking in the discussion on resolutions or carrying votes for their respective clubs and individual members at our Annual Convention.
In total, more than 150 MUCC members joined us in Clare, Michigan at the Doherty Hotel and Conference Center for the event.
The process kicked off Friday with an MUCC On the Ground project in the Lame Duck Foot Access Area GEMS. About 30 volunteers helped to build two boardwalks that will assist hunters and recreational users of the site navigate lowland areas. Members from MUCC, Ruffed Grouse Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Quality Deer Management Association and Michigan Trapper and Predator Callers Association were all in attendance of the habitat improvement project.
Friday evening found us at the Clare Rod and Gun Club for an evening picnic and trap shooting. Banter was heavy as staffers and members vied for the top score in rounds of trap. The club provided MUCC members a home cooked meal of hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, coleslaw, potatoes and other side dishes. Dessert followed and left some of us loosening a few buttons.
Business followed on Saturday with four bylaws amendments and 20 resolutions being read, debated and voted on. Among the most debated resolutions were resolutions that included mandatory antler point restrictions, the changing of opening day of firearm deer season to a Saturday and the introduction of a separate bobcat license. Keynote speakers during and after lunch included Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission Chair Vicki Pontz and Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh.
During the evening dinner and awards banquet, we recognized those among us who have made significant contributions to Michigan’s conservation legacy — whether that was through generous donations to our youth camp, helping to further the scientific knowledge of the conservation community or fighting for our rights in the halls of the Capitol in Lansing. Representative Gary Howell (R-North Branch), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, joined us for the dinner and was recognized as Legislator of the Year for all of the hard work and thought he puts forth toward the issues we work so hard on in Lansing. Lake St. Clair Walleye Association, awarded Affiliate Club of the Year for their contributions to our youth camp, challenged attendees at our winter Presidents’ Dinner and matched donations right at convention totaling $8000.
Other award winners included Robert Doepker for Wildlife Conservationist of the Year; Frank Krist for the Unsung Hero; John Ozoga for the Ben East Award; Rob Miller Electric for Corporate Conservationist of the Year; Stuart Kenewell for the Special Conservation Award; Jon Gray for the Educator of the Year; and Elden Montross Sr., Fred Tyszka, Jim Shipley, Dennis Holoway, Charlie Baker and John Dixson for Volunteer of the Year. What each award entails and why these individuals were recognized can be found here.
Members joined us again Sunday morning for three more resolutions, all of which passed unanimously, and the announcement of final election results. A complete list of all the resolutions that passed and failed can be found here. Election results for our 2018-2019 Executive Board follow:
Term limits extend through the 2020 Annual Convention for the following positions. The Vice President ascends to the President at that time:
- President George Lindquist, U.P. Whitetails of Marquette County
- Vice President/President-elect Greg Peter, Chelsea Rod and Gun Club
- Immediate Past President Tom Heritier, Saginaw Field and Stream
- Treasurer Fran Yeager, Cass County Conservation Club
- Region 2 Director Jay Maki, Tahquamenon Sportsmans Club
- Region 4 Director Carol Rose, Montmorency County Conservation Club
- Region 6 Director Chuck Hoover, Saginaw Field and Stream
The remainder of the Executive Board is up for reelection at the 2019 Annual Convention.
- Region 1 Director Mike Taylor, U.P. Whitetails of Marquette County
- Region 3 Director Jane Finnerty, Cadillac Sportsmen’s Club
- Region 5 Director Kayla McKern, Ashley Sportsmen’s Club
- Region 7 Director Ron Burris, Individual Member and Past President
- Region 9 Director Bruce Levey, Michigan Bow Hunters
Contact information can be found here. Vacancies still exist for 2 positions in Region 8 (Southeast Michigan) and 1 in Region 5 (West Central Michigan).
Staff wants to thank all of you who participated in this most important occasion. We work on your behalf, these are our marching orders and we are proud to carry your voice in the halls of Lansing, Washington D.C. and in all that we do.
Next year’s Annual Convention will be June 21 to 23, 2019 at the Lakeside Resort and Conference Center in Houghton Lake, Michigan. We look forward to seeing you. We will be having some sort of activity on Friday, and we hope that those of you coming can join us and help to build the camaraderie that has made MUCC what it is today. Again, thank you, and we look forward to seeing you in 2019.