Michigan’s hunters, anglers and trappers accomplished big things in 2014, and they were possible only because individuals volunteered their time and effort to get things done. From policy wins like the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act to On the Ground habitat projects, I was lucky this year to get a front row seat to see just how much some of you care about defending our hunting rights and conserving our fish and wildlife.
Maybe the biggest thing we accomplished was passage of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. This was possible only because individuals from the western tip of the Upper Peninsula to the southeast Michigan – Ohio border volunteered their time to collect over 375,000 signatures to get the initiative to the Legislature. It’s impossible in a blog like this to convey the monumental effort of aggregated hours tabling at an outdoor show or sporting goods store or knocking on your neighbors door, thousands and thousands of volunteers collecting signatures from their immediate family to every person that walked in the door of the nearest Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Jay’s Sporting Goods, Frank’s Great Outdoors or Gander Mountain. But these photos give you a little bit of a picture what that effort looked like:
But that wasn’t all that volunteers did this year. They also turned out to physically improve fish and wildlife habitat, over 500 of them! Through MUCC’s On the Ground program, volunteers improved habitat for rabbits, grouse, deer, bears, waterfowl, muskies, bass, steelhead and even elk through 20 on-the-ground projects. I could tell you all about each project, but I’d rather show you:
It was a truly incredible year for volunteers accomplishing real results to protect hunting rights and improve fish and wildlife habitat. Thank you to every single person who volunteered to collect a signature, plant a tree, cut one, or call a legislator. You made 2014 one of the most significant in Michigan conservation history. Let’s keep it going in 2015!