January 2024 NRC Recap

Senate passes commercial guiding legislation

The Michigan Senate, on a bipartisan vote, passed stakeholder-led commercial guiding legislation Thursday morning.

Commercial guiding in Michigan is woefully unregulated – nothing currently exists in statute to prevent serial poachers from posing as legitimate guides. Senate Bills 103, 104, SB 105 aim to address that, though still need to pass through a House committee and floor vote.

During the 2021-2022 legislative session, MUCC authored a detailed breakdown of the identical house legislation. MUCC has joined many affiliates, particularly 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 while collecting important harvest and effort data, says 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.”

This legislation would set a low barrier to entry for an individual looking to 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. 

The bipartisan package, sponsored by Senators John Cherry (D-Flint), SeanMcCann (D-Kalamazoo), and Kevin Daley (R-Lum), now goes to the house which is expected to begin work on the legislation after the summer break. 

Trotter hopes that 2023 is the year this legislation passes.

“2023 seems to be shaping up to be the year we finally cross the finish line.” Trotter said, “The legislation continues to enjoy broad stakeholder consensus and bipartisan support, with all sides clearly understanding the need for this bill package.” 

Stayed tuned to MUCC for updates on the 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.     

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