The fight for the future of our outdoor heritage has come to Michigan

Conservation organization files suit against resources commission

On March 28, the nation’s largest statewide conservation organization filed suit against the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), challenging the three-month closure of the coyote hunting season.

At the March NRC, the commission, in a 4-2 vote, voted to close the coyote hunting season from April 16 through July 14 through the adoption of Wildlife Conservation Order #1 of 2024. Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) testified in opposition to the closure.

MUCC filed in Ingham County, arguing that the commission unlawfully closed Michigan’s coyote season, violating their responsibility and legal charge. The Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers (MTPCA) has also filed a lawsuit against the commission in Mackinac County.

The groups argue that the NRC relied on unsubstantiated claims of negative public perception and perceived potential loss of management control, said MUCC Chief Executive Officer Amy Trotter.

“The record is unambiguous: the commission has not heard or cited any scientific literature or rationale justifying the closure,” Trotter said. “Meanwhile, there were hours of public testimony on the practical benefits of coyote hunting during the spring season, while being reinforced with cited literature.”

MUCC’s mission is to unite citizens to conserve, protect, and enhance Michigan’s outdoor heritage, and this issue is bigger than coyote hunting, said MUCC President Rob Miller.

“The board voted unanimously to take this action, consistent with MUCC’s mission,” Miller said. “MUCC was founded on the belief that game management decisions should be grounded in science and insulated from political and social pressures. This is a foundational issue for our organization, and we were obligated to act on behalf of Michigan’s conservationists.”

Mark Spencer, president of the MTPCA, said the idea that trappers and predator callers are behind the closure is misguided.

“The stance taken with litigation clearly shows the trappers and predator callers of Michigan are firmly united behind the principles of science-based management,” Spencer said. “Our groups present a united front to ensure our outdoor heritage is protected and grounded in science for generations to come.”

MUCC’s notice, filed in Ingham County Circuit Court, will be followed by the organization’s briefs. The process is expected to play out over the coming months and MUCC can not waver on its principles, said Trotter.

“MUCC is the nation’s largest, most successful, statewide conservation organization,” said Trotter. “We were founded for moments like this, and we will continue our work to conserve, protect, and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage.”

To learn more about MUCC and our work, visit


  1. Joe humphries on March 28, 2024 at 6:53 pm

    Great work MUCC
    These decisions should solely be based on science and not political motivations. Keep up the great work !

  2. Case DeYoung on March 28, 2024 at 8:03 pm

    Exactly why I support the MUCC!

  3. Geoff Morse on March 28, 2024 at 8:03 pm

    Thank you Mucc, this closure was in no way based on science

  4. Dave Tanney on March 29, 2024 at 5:55 am

    Thanks for all you do! Now if we could just get rid of the NRC and let the DNR manage the wildlife resources like they are trained to do!

  5. Clayton case on March 29, 2024 at 8:46 am

    They had a season before, then they opened it up to year round. Guess i dont understand why the big deal. Yes they may kill a few deer but not nearly as many as autos do, plus why do you need to kill pups and females that are nursing ? Just asking.

  6. Todd McLain on March 29, 2024 at 12:51 pm

    Thank you MUCC for all that you do for Michigan Sportsmen and women. I am so tired of these Administrative officials that are not elected by the citizens, but INSTALLED by Governmental leaders making decisions that effect us all. Big State Bureaucracy.

  7. Stewart Smith on March 29, 2024 at 1:20 pm

    Science MUST be the determining factor here. Science is NOT being used, rather political rumblings are consistent with these “knee-jerk” rulings.
    Disband the Natural Resources Commission and allow the science-driven MIDNR to do their jobs.
    Appointed people hardly ever are the key to effective management.

  8. Chryss Veirauch on April 3, 2024 at 4:57 pm

    Thank you MUCC and Trappers for holding the NRC accountable for devious actions taken without sound scientific proof and playing politics. The NRC needs to be cleaned up and get out of politics! That’s not why it was created.

  9. Cameron Jones on April 5, 2024 at 2:18 pm

    I am glad MUCC & MTPCA have filed these suits on behalf of MI Sportsmen & women.
    I DO think you should have personally named the NRC members who voted for this, in the suits; make it personal; THAT will get their attention.
    By suing the NRC as an organization, you give these individuals cover, and allow them to fight us with our own money.

  10. Jeremy Laakso on April 8, 2024 at 7:10 am

    This is why I stand with MUCC as a Life Member and policy board member. Thank you for standing up for us Sportsmen and Women!

    If you are reading this and are not an individual member of MUCC, please become an individual member!

  11. Cam Jones on April 16, 2024 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you MUCC!
    I would suggest that you sue the four that voted to close the season, and praise the two who didn’t. Suing The Commission allows them to use OUR money to fight US. Suing the individual Commissioners makes the law breakers responsible for their individual actions.

  12. Martin Baumgartner on April 16, 2024 at 5:31 pm

    We have spawning regulations for fish that shuts the season down while this is happening. Isn’t this the same for coyotes.

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