Michigan chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers strongly opposed State Bills 39 and 40,
which would have eased the sale of state lands important to sportsmen
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is welcoming news that two bad bills being considered by the legislature have failed to advance out of committee following strong opposition by sportsmen and other outdoor recreationists.
Senate bills 39 and 40 would have eased the sale of Michigan state lands by the Department of Natural Resources, impeding the acquisition of new state lands and jeopardizing public hunting and fishing access on 4.5 million acres currently owned by the state. The bills were weighed by the Michigan House Natural Resources Committee, but committee members chose not to advance them, effectively killing them for this term of the legislature.
Michigan BHA Board Chair Jason Meekhof applauded news of the bills’ demise.
“Defeating this bad package of bills is a win for all of us,” said Meekhof, who lives in Southfield. “The Michigan chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers provided a much needed public voice of opposition to the legislation, testifying before the Senate natural resources committee and amplifying the views of hunters, anglers and trappers in our state.”
Michigan conservation groups, including BHA as well as the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, banded together to voice their outrage after the bills were introduced. BHA singled out efforts by MUCC in particular in preventing the legislation’s advance.
“We thank Representative Andrea LaFontaine, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, for standing up for what is right and working to protect our public lands,” Meekhof continued. “This is a great day for Michigan sportsmen and women and the lands and waters we love.”
The Michigan chapter of BHA formed earlier this year and seeks to provide a voice for Wolverine State sportsmen and support for Michigan’s public lands and waters. The chapter is quickly increasing in membership and influence and anticipates and productive 2017.