A political clash between those who want to protect hunting rights and those who want to ban certain types of hunting is escalating at the Michigan Capitol.
The Michigan Senate this week is expected to move toward possible votes on proposals that would protect hunting rights in the state constitution and allow the state’s Natural Resources Commission to decide on its own what species could be hunted.
Meanwhile, a group including members of a coalition aiming to prevent a possible wolf hunt in Michigan held a rally outside the Capitol on Tuesday. The group says lawmakers are plotting to take away their right to vote on certain wildlife issues.
One of the proposals that could soon be voted on by the Senate is Joint Resolution S. It reads “people have the right to hunt, trap, and fish and to harvest game and fish that are the property of the state and are held in the public trust.” That right would be “subject to conditions established by law and based on principles of scientific management.” If the Legislature approves the measure by a two-thirds vote, it would be submitted to Michigan voters for their consideration.
Lawmakers also could soon vote on Senate Bill 288. It would give the state’s Natural Resources Commission the authority to by itself designate a species as a game species. Michigan’s current law requires the Legislature to designate a game species, which then gives the NRC permission to establish a hunt.
Both proposals are sponsored by Republicans, who hold the majority in the Legislature.
Republican Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday said it’s up to the Legislature to come up with what it thinks is the best way to handle the issues.
“I think the general concept of saying that we should do scientifically based hunting is a good concept,” he said.