By Stephen King
As the Legislature starts to settle in, and the posturing of the early portion of the current
session gives way to the actual working session of the Legislature, our elected officials
are actually now starting to get down to real work.
With that, I have been in conversation with the Office of State Senator Ed McBroom,
who Chairs the Senate Natural Resources Committee. They have informed me that there
has now been some activity. Namely, some Bills are starting to be Introduced. Some of
them involve Outdoor issues. With that, in the House, there were Bills introduced
concerning hunting, wildlife feeding, and snowmobiling. Meanwhile, in the Senate, there
are Bills introduced concerning marking Private Property, Mining Inspectors, and the
First, HB 4079 would change the rules regarding hunting from a stationary vehicle and
expand and remove permit requirements for Private Property. This Bill is sponsored by
HB 4080 would allow the use of a “pneumatic device” in certain hunting seasons. This
Bill is sponsored by Beau LaFave.
HB 4088 would change the situations in which wildlife feeding is allowed. Sponsored by
Then, House Bills 4205 and 4206 would designate 1 weekend a season in which waive
the requirement that snowmobiles must have a Trail Sticker. This would be similar to the
Free Fishing Weekend. These Bills are Sponsored by Reps. Steven Johnson and John
HB 4223 would change the membership of the Natural Resources Commission. This Bill
is sponsored by Michelle Holtenga.
Finally, HB 4234 would amend the requirement for hunting colors. It would allow for
“Hunter’s Pink” to be included with “Hunter’s Orange”, as a requirement for safety.
Next, for the Senate, Senator McBroom’s Office noted 3 Bills that have been introduced
SB 0106 would allow purple paint to be used to designate Private Property, designating a
No Trespassing Sign. This Bill was sponsored by Curtis Vanderwall.
SB 0119 would address Mining Inspectors. Namely, eligibility requirements.
Finally, SB 0120 will affect the make up of the Natural Resources Commission.
In addition to the above-noted Bills, other Outdoor Issues currently being discussed
include amending the DNR’s rules regarding Commercial Fishing. There were Bills
introduced the last Session. However, no action was taken and it is expected that the Bills
will be reintroduced.
Next, there has been talk that there is a possibility that a Hunting Season on Sandhill
Cranes is a possibility. Many other States already have an Open Season. In Michigan, the
population is at a point where there are more than enough to have a hunt, without
harming the population.
Finally, one of the biggest issues will be a Wolf Hunt. Currently, there will be a Wolf
Hunt in Wisconsin this year. What happens in Michigan is yet to be determined.
Overall, as the Legislature starts to get back to work, we can expect more action.
However, with the political divide so deep, there is always a question about what Bills
the current Governor will actually sign. She is the 800-pound gorilla in the room.