THE OPENER: GRASSROOTS IN ACTION
Every year, MUCC’s members from around the state come together at our Regional Meetings in February to kick off our policy setting process which culminates in our Annual Convention in June. This year, our Convention takes place June 19-21, 2015 in Gaylord at Treetops Resort. And boy will we have a packed agenda! To date we have 21 resolutions coming before the delegates to debate and set the path for future MUCC policy work. There remains one last opportunity for members of MUCC statewide affiliate organizations to bring forward resolutions at the MUCC District 20 meeting on April 1st.
We previously reported on the 5 resolutions that came from our clubs and members “north of the knuckles”. In addition, there will be one Interim resolution that was passed by the MUCC Board of Directors back in October related to wolf management in the Eastern U.P.–of course, this was before the recent court case that has us focusing on removing wolves from the federal Endangered Species list yet again.
This past weekend, we moved south to hear from the many clubs and members in our Southeast Region IV and Southwest Region III. These 15 resolutions pass on to Convention after robust discussions and we look forward to a lively debate again this June.
Once again, these resolutions are ideas that will be presented to our MUCC voting delgates at our Annual Convention. Each resolution requiring a change in law or NRC wildlife or fisheries policy will take a 2/3rd majority for approval. In summary, the new ideas brought forth include:
- Belle Isle State Park: MUCC, DNR and the Belle Isle Advisory Council should work towards developing additional enhancements to facilitate recreation on the island, including ice skating, canoeing, boat ramps, and camp grounds.
- Aquaculture in Michigan: Work to ensure that the State of Michigan’s laws and regulations are adequate to protect water quality, native and stocked fisheries, and public recreation in the face of aquaculture expansion.
- Lake Erie Duck Hunting: Expanding opportunities to hunt ducks later in the year in the southern waterfowl zone.
- Safety Green for Hunting: Consider allowing an opportunity for hunters to wear safety green clothing in the field to increase visibility to other hunters.
- Muskellunge Spearing: Oppose the expansion of muskie spearing and eliminate spearing where there has been a decline in the muskie population.
- Restitution for Poaching (4 resolutions): In light of the new enhanced restitution for poaching white-tailed deer, MUCC should work to implement higher penalities for poaching for the following species:
- Migratory Birds
- Turn In Poachers (TIPS) Reporting Option: Work to enact a limited hunting tag reward system to people willing to provide information leading to conviction of poachers.
- Second Amendment Holiday: Work to implement some period of time (1 weekend or 2 days per year) where the state sales tax would be waived on purchases of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment, and all hunting, fishing, and trapping supplies.
- Lake St. Clair Combined Possession Limits: Work to eliminate the combined possession limit and instead have separate possession limits for pike, walleye and bass and consider an increase in the pike bag limit on Lake St. Clair.
- Come Home to Hunt: Work on a feasibility study to examine the possibility of expanding resident licenses to former residents meeting certain criteria.
- Full Disclosure/Hydraulic Fracturing: Work to ensure that the regulations on fracking include full disclosure of the chemicals used in the process and consider the inclusion of oil and gas operations in the water withdrawal regulations as well.
- Hunting Licenses for Youth: Enact a reduction in the hunting license fees for youth under 17 that are Michigan residents.
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