August 27, 2014 (Washington, DC) - Today, the Michigan House of Representatives affirmed its commitment to professional fish and wildlife management by approving the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (SFWCA) with a vote 65-43. This action was preceded by Senate approval on August 13, meaning the SFWCA will now become law. This victory for the sportsmen's community would not have been possible without the dedicated leadership of the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus. Their actions exemplify what a committed sportsmen's caucus can accomplish in the name of science-based management of state natural resources.
The SFWCA will ensure that the fish and game regulatory authority remains in the hands of natural resource professionals whose decisions are guided by sound scientific principles. In addition, it provides free hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses to active duty military members and appropriates an additional $1 million for invasive species control and prevention efforts.
Ultimately, it was a unified sportsmen's community that joined forces to gather enough signatures to initiate the SFWCA and present the initiative to the legislature. Without the steadfast efforts of the ballot committee, Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, and its partner groups, the ill-informed objectives of two anti-hunting referenda would have stood uncontested on the November ballot, leaving the future of professional fish and wildlife management at risk in the state of Michigan.
Professional management of fish and wildlife resources is made possible by the American System of Conservation Funding, supported exclusively by sportsmen and women, and ensures that healthy fish and wildlife populations are available for the enjoyment of current and future generations. The SFWCA safeguards the integrity and continued success of this model of fish and wildlife management, and today the Michigan Legislature acted as conservation champions by approving this critical initiative.