October NRC Recap

Commissioners voted to redefine what constitutes an artificial fly in Michigan at the October Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting.

Fisheries Order 200.23, which defines what an artificial fly is, passed unanimously after one minor amendment submitted by Commissioner Cozad. Fisheries Orders 254.23 was also passed at the October meeting. 

Fisheries Order 206.23 was tabled again to the November meeting for clarity of information after today’s discussion and public comment. 

Fisheries Orders 210.23 was also tabled to the November meeting seeking clarification and further information from field staff to address a number of concerns with the order.

Fisheries Order 206.23 included a change to the size limit for Muskellunge on the Cisco Chain of lakes, increasing the limit to 50”. MUCC offered public comment against this change, as the department offered no biological justification, and changing the regulation simply to match Wisconsin is not sufficient. 

Department of Natural Resources Director Daniel Eichinger approved Land Use Conservation Orders #6 and #7 of 2022. The first setting regulations at the new Crystal Waters State Game Area, and the latter conditions of use and prohibited conduct at the Silver Lake State Park ORV area.

For information this month was Wildlife Conservation Order #5 of 2022, which sets turkey regulations for the 2023-2025 regulatory cycle. The only proposed change is combining the first and second hunts in Unit E into one hunt and combining the quotas as well.

The memo addresses Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ supported position that would allow hunters to purchase a second leftover tag; however, the recommendation is not included in the order. MUCC had asked for this change at the August NRC meeting in Detroit.

DNR Wildlife Division Chief Jared Duquette provided commissioners a timeline on the state’s 2022 Wolf Management plan and white paper

MUCC provided public comments on the draft plan in August and on the timeline at the October NRC meeting. MUCC feels the department is moving unnecessarily slowly in releasing the plan, while also failing to adequately communicate the inclusion of public comments in the plan according to MUCC Policy Assistant Justin Tomei.

“Our membership has been frustrated at the glacial pace that this process has moved,” said Tomei. “UP residents feel disenfranchised and the frustration is compounded by the lack of communication on plan progress.”

State Land Review Recommendations for Group 5 were up for director action, as was an oil and gas lease auction. Land Use Order of the Director Amendment #8 was up for information. This proposed order would designate parts of the Michigan Iron Industry Museum as a state park, placing them under Parks and Recreation Division management. 

There were five land transactions up for review this month. MUCC reviews all transactions of at least 80 acres, none of the transactions meet this threshold.

DNR Deer and Elk specialist Chad Stewart provided commissioners with a report on preliminary elk season results

The November 10 NRC meeting will be at Lansing Community College. MUCC will be presenting to the newly-formed Policy and Governance Committee the details of the organization’s annual convention..

To ensure our natural resources remain protected and managed thoughtfully in perpetuity, join Michigan United Conservation Clubs today: http://bit.ly/JoinMUCC

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