November 9, 1937 is an important day in Michigan’s rich outdoor heritage and history. On that day 85 years ago, a group of 19 conservation organizations came together to create the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC).
They likely didn’t know that they had just laid the foundation for the nation’s largest and most successful statewide conservation organization. Those 19 leaders knew that someone had to fight back and insulate natural resources policymaking from the politicians’ whims.
Since our founding, MUCC has been entrusted to unite citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage. As we celebrate our 85th Founders’ Day, we are reaffirming our commitment to the pillars that allow us to be the leader of Michigan’s conservation movement: advocacy, communication, education and stewardship. We empower the average conservationist to protect our natural resources while educating the next generation of conservation stewards.
Our pillars create the foundation for our 30,000 members and 200 affiliate conservation clubs — pillars that would not have been possible to cement without our founders.
Join us in strengthening our mission and continuing our founder’s legacy by making a contribution today.
The slow erosion of our outdoor heritage is constant. We need your support now more than ever. As our founders took action in 1937 when they saw missteps and overreach by politicians, MUCC continues to take action daily to conserve, protect and defend our outdoor heritage.
MUCC is fighting to protect our Great Lakes fisheries, opposing the expansion of Camp Grayling, ensuring the authority of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) and holding the Michigan legislature and DNR accountable when there is overreach or infringement of our rights. The work we do in Lansing reaches every corner of the state, and we are fighting to ensure sound, science-based conservation and management decisions.
Our policy work is not done in a vacuum or without input. Our focus and power bubbles up from our membership. Every single one of our 30,000-plus members has the opportunity to take action on issues that are important to them. Our membership has the power to ensure our outdoor heritage only grows over the next 85-plus years.
Thanks to membership action, we defeated all 20 of the bills we opposed in the 2021-2022 legislative session — something I think our founders would be extremely proud of. Make sure we continue to stay in the fight by donating today.
Throughout the last year, we have grown our grassroots advocacy base and influence, we have enhanced our member communications, expanded our wildlife habitat conservation program and continued to educate the next generation of conservation stewards. There are endless ways to volunteer, engage and support the important work MUCC is doing.
Our education team spent more than 45 days in the field and attended 36 outreach events to take advantage of every opportunity to recruit new hunters, anglers, trappers and outdoors enthusiasts. Through our Family Learn to Fish events and Annual Youth Pheasant Hunt, MUCC created more than 150 new anglers and hunters. We delivered over 7,100 hours of outdoor education and programming and hosted 137 future conservationists at the Michigan Out-of-Doors Youth Camp before our season was cut short due to staffing issues.
Even with the hurdles we faced this summer, I know our founders would be proud of the impact we had on our campers and their love for the outdoors. For the 2022-2023 school year, more than 10,000 kids will be receiving our TRACKS Magazine, which highlights all Michigan species through its eight annual issues. Additionally in 2022, TRACKS celebrated 45 years of science-based Great Lakes education and conservation. Help us grow our robust education programs by making a contribution today.
Through On the Ground (OTG), MUCC’s award-winning volunteer wildlife habitat improvement program, 546 volunteers and 2 staff held 22 projects and improved 255 acres. Collectively, they spent more than 1,500 hours improving fish and wildlife habitat as well as increasing public access to lands throughout the state. Highlighting one of our newest and fastest-growing programs, MUCC hosted six OTG Jr. habitat improvement projects in various locations throughout the Lower Peninsula. These projects engaged more than 200 students, teachers, and parent chaperones from multiple school districts. Student participants ranged from fourth graders to high school students completing their senior year. During these projects and activities, students learn the importance of conservation and land management practices as well as how to be a steward for Michigan’s public lands.
Recapping all the progress we have made in 2022 allows us to take a moment and reflect on our humble beginnings. It gives us time to celebrate and digest the importance of our organization. It allows us to reconnect to our original purpose — to protect the right to hunt, fish and trap. When our founders came together in 1937, they set in motion a conservation movement that gives each one of us the opportunity to conserve, protect and defend. I hope you will join me in celebrating 85 years of conservation and donate today.
Good luck in all your outdoor adventures, and stay safe.
Yours in Conservation,
Director of Development & Membership