THE MORE HUNTERS IN OFFICE, THE BETTER
by Nick Bade-Dodge, MUCC Policy Intern
We know this story is over a week old now but it’s an important issue, one that we feel should be highlighted. A little over a week ago the capitol news source MIRS published an article entitled, “25% Of Lawmakers Own Hunting Licenses.” This may not seem like a lot to many of you but it is an upward trend from what we have seen the last several years and we are excited about it!
As the MIRS article points out, historically the Michigan Legislature has had a strong number of hunters. This was very evident in the 1970’s and 1980’s where groups of hunters including former Senators John Cherry, Chris Dingell, and George McManus would hunt on opening day regardless of whether or not the Senate was in session. However, in the mid 2000’s, the amount of legislators who obtained deer licenses dropped significantly to a meager 9 out of 148 legislatures.
Fortunately, this is no longer the case as there has been an upward trend in license owning legislators in recent years. In 2009, the number rose to 27. According to a recent report from the Department of Natural Resources, now 38 current legislators own a base hunting license.
This is excellent news for MUCC and the conservation community in general. The efforts to pass resolutions to make Michigan conservation the best it can be have not resulted from citizens of the conservation community alone. Conscientious legislatures play a vital role in the conservation effort by moving our resolutions through the legislative process. The activity of hunting is dependent upon regulations and laws put in place to maintain sustainable hunting practices.
The more enthusiasm for conservation in the legislature, the better and we believe you are a big part of that. MUCC salutes its members for continued involvement and dedication to conservation. Member involvement with the sportsmen caucus has undoubtedly helped this upward trend and we encourage your continued involvement so legislative representation of the hunting community can continue to grow.
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