Protect Hunting Rights – The Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act

If you wish to sign this petition please contact Gary Robb (NMSC President) at

The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act is a citizen-initiated law to:

  • Ensure that decisions affecting the taking of fish and game are made using principles of sound scientific fish and wildlife management
  • Provide for free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses for active members of the military
  • Provide appropriations for fisheries management activities within Michigan necessary for rapid response, prevention, control and/or elimination of aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp

A citizen-initiated law requires over 258,000 valid signatures to present the law to the Michigan Legislature. If the Legislature passes the law without change within 40 days, then it becomes law.

Features of the Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act:

  • “Game” means any species of wildlife designated by the Legislature or the Natural Resources Commission as game.
  • “Conservation” means the wise use of natural resources.
  • The Legislature or bipartisan Natural Resources Commission may designate a wildlife species as game, but Natural Resources Commission orders must be consistent with its duty to use sound science.
  • The bipartisan Natural Resources Commission may take testimony from DNR biologists and other experts, and review scientific literature and data to support its duty to use sound science.
  • Only the Legislature or Natural Resources Commission may establish the first open season for game.
  • Only the Legislature may remove wildlife from the game species list, but the Natural Resources Commission may decline to authorize a hunting season if it conflicts with sound science.
  • Declare that the fish and wildlife populations and their habitats are important to the citizens of Michigan.
  • Declare that the conservation of fish and wildlife populations depend upon the wise use and sound scientific management of natural resources.
  • Allow active duty members of the military may obtain hunting, fishing and trapping licenses free of charge.
  • Declare that aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp, represent a significant threat to the state’s fisheries, aquatic resources, outdoor recreation and tourism economies, and public safety.
  • The Natural Resources Commission has the exclusive authority to regulate fishing. It must use principles of sound science and may take testimony from DNR personnel, experts and others, and review scientific literature, data and other sources in support of its duty to use sound science.
  • Appropriates $1 million to the DNR for rapid response, prevention, control and/or elimination of aquatic invasive species, including Asian carp.

Why is this citizen-led legislation needed?

Out-of-state radical anti-hunting groups, led by the Humane Society of the United States, have launched two referendum drives in Michigan seeking to overrule Michigan’s wildlife biologists on game management decisions. With their deep pockets, they know that once they get on a statewide ballot, it’s just a matter of spending millions of dollars in misleading advertising. They’re trying the same strategy in Maine, just as they tried it here in 1996 and 2006. Without this citizen-initiated legislation, fish and game decisions made by our state’s professional wildlife biologists will be subject to endless expensive referendums run by deep-pocketed out-of-state activists.

There’s a better way. The bipartisan Natural Resources Commission was created in 1922 to separate conservation from politics. In 1996, the people of Michigan voted to give the NRC exclusive authority to issue game orders and required that it use sound science. This initiative makes sure that fish and game decisions can be made by the only public body in Michigan required by the people to use sound science: the Natural Resources Commission. It also protects free licenses for active military members and provides funding to make sure the DNR can respond rapidly to keep Asian carp out of Michigan’s fisheries.

The anti-hunters are collecting signatures to take away hunting rights and turn Michigan conservation decisions over to whoever buys the most television commercials. We’re collecting signatures to protect hunting and fishing rights and make sure that our fish and wildlife are managed by sound science, not sound bites.

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