We are blessed to have world-class natural resources and numerous outdoor activities in Michigan that help make our state such a great place to live and raise a family. Among these activities are hunting and fishing, which have been family traditions for longer than Michigan has been a state.
I am proud to be a member of the Michigan Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus — a group of lawmakers in both chambers and from both parties who come together to conserve, preserve and promote Michigan’s great outdoors.
The caucus is dedicated to ensuring our natural resources are protected, advancing the rights of Michigan residents to affordably hunt and fish, and increasing family outdoor opportunities.
Our sports men and women are among Michigan’s greatest custodians of the state’s natural resources — and they also are important to our economy. According to a report commissioned by Michigan United Conservation Clubsand based on a study by Michigan State University professors and researchers, hunting and fishing generates $11.2 billion for Michigan’s economy each year.
By purchasing gear, booking hotels, eating in restaurants, leasing land and spending money in numerous other ways, our 1.1 million anglers and over 700,000 hunters support more than 171,000 jobs — contributing $3.3 billion to Michigan families in salaries and wages.
Anglers and hunters also help with conservation efforts and wildlife management by purchasing licenses and controlling animal and fish populations.
The revenue generated from sports men and women helps conserve fish and wildlife, provide clean and healthy landscapes and maintain public access to these resources.
The expansion of the Petersburg State Game Area in Monroe County is a prime example of this system in action. The state used funds from the sale of waterfowl hunting licenses to acquire 72 acres of land adjacent to the game area to restore critical habitat for wildlife conservation and public enjoyment.
A few of the legislative issues the sportsmen’s caucus continues to work on include improving the Natural Resources Trust Fund to allow more constitutionally restricted funds to be invested into enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities, stopping Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes, protecting our water from PFAS and implementing better Department of Natural Resources services and technologies.
To ensure Michigan continues to attract enough outdoor enthusiasts to fund our conservation efforts, we must also help to engage young people about hunting and fishing — so they will become the next generation of sports men and women and keep our outdoor traditions alive.
I hope you all have a chance to get outdoors and experience everything Michigan has to offer.