The Michigan Senate concurred on stakeholder-led commercial guiding legislation today, after passage in the house late last night.
The legislation now heads to Gov. Whitmer’s desk.
Commercial guiding in Michigan is woefully unregulated – nothing currently exists in statute to prevent serial poachers from posing as legitimate guides.
The bipartisan package, sponsored by Senators John Cherry (D-Flint), Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), and Kevin Daley (R-Lum), aims to address that and provide crucial biological data for Michigan’s world-class biologists.
During the 2021-2022 legislative session, MUCC authored a detailed breakdown of similar legislation. MUCC has joined many affiliates, notably the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation and Michigan Steelhead and Salmon Fishermen’s Association, and existing guides in pushing for and refining this proposal over many years.
This legislation is necessary to protect Michigan’s natural resources from bad actors, said MUCC Chief Executive Officer Amy Trotter.
“The need for this legislation has been on MUCC’s radar since the late 1990s,” Trotter said, “We must weed out serial poachers posing as legitimate guides. This legislation checks all the boxes, ensures the integrity of Michigan’s commercial guiding industry, and collects important information to manage our natural resources scientifically.”
The legislative package will set a low barrier to entry for an individual looking to participate as a guide. These requirements include a $150 fee for a three-year license, no violations of certain game laws within the last three years, no felonies and the guide must hold a base license or fishing license. There are also common sense exemptions as to who would need a license such as hunting on private land, friends voluntarily sharing expenses, or a non-profit engaging in a recruitment event.
Conservationists have been waiting for this, said Amy Trotter, MUCC chief executive officer.
“2023 is the year we finally cross the finish line. We are capping off more than a decade of work that spans multiple legislative sessions and gubernatorial administrations,” Trotter said. “The legislation has always enjoyed broad stakeholder consensus and bipartisan support, with all sides clearly understanding the need for this legislation.”
To ensure our natural resources remain protected and managed thoughtfully and our outdoor heritage defended, join Michigan United Conservation Clubs today: http://bit.ly/JoinMUCC.