Volunteer Bill Complete
One of the 2011 legislative priorities for Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) is complete. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder put his signature of approval on new legislation that will enable volunteers to help the DNR to further improve the value of our state’s natural resources and their recreational opportunities (House Bill 4111, sponsored by State Rep. Bruce Rendon (R-Lake City).
MUCC Executive Director Erin McDonough said that House Bill 4111 is proof positive that Michigan’s outdoors community is willing to step to the plate. “With the state’s funding crunch, hunters, anglers and trappers were seeing our public lands being neglected simply because there was not enough budget to support them,” she said. “Rather than simply sit back and complain, they approached MUCC and asked us to find a way that they could help. This common sense legislation allows volunteers to assist the DNR with improving the public lands that make Michigan such an incredible place to live. Without this legislation, limited resources could otherwise prevent certain improvements or services from moving forward.”
The legislation authorizes the DNR to appoint volunteers to facilitate responsibilities of the Department under Section 503 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act. McDonough also emphasized the importance of this legislation in expanding the DNR’s ability to form working partnerships with willing volunteers and partners to fulfill tasks that are currently stagnant due to a lack of resources (i.e., stream bank restoration, fish stocking, wildlife habitat, deer check stations, trail grooming, etc.).
“We have already started to see a new sort of partnership taking place that pairs the general public with state government. This is no small accomplishment because that relationship has not been healthy in the past. With new partnerships such as the Michigan Pheasant Habitat Restoration Initiative and, now, this new legislation, Michigan’s outdoors community can truly take even more ownership in the heritage we treasure.”
MUCC would like to commend State Rep. Rendon for his leadership in sponsoring House Bill 4111.