ESCANABA - The Region I meeting of Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) was held Saturday in Munising.
The primary purpose was to present proposals, by resolution, that are voted upon by the delegates present, and if passed are sent to the annual statewide convention during the summer for final vote. Delegates have time to review these and other resolutions with their respective memberships prior to the convention.
If adopted at the convention, the proposal becomes the policy of MUCC. No one within the administration of MUCC can vary from that policy until it is changed by the membership.
It takes a lot of work, but as history provides, there have been a lot of successes that have come out of the organization. Many times they have been a direct result of an initiative taken from one person to as many as whole organizations from the Upper Peninsula.
At the Region I meeting, three resolutions were submitted for consideration:
Resolution I - Ottawa Sportsmen's Club "Buyout on Illegal Buck"; Is presented to deal with incidental kills of bucks with less than three points on one side, due to the hunter's mistaken identification. It is a situation that does occur and it can be anticipated that in some cases, the deer is abandoned, taken but not tagged and/or cut up before it can be discovered.
Tim Kobasic is the outdoors editor for KMB Broadcasting and host/producer for Tails & Trails Outdoor Radio, aired on six radio stations over three networks, Charter Communications cable and the Internet on Saturday mornings.
In understanding that most hunters want to stay compliant with the law, the resolution proposes that MUCC work with the Natural Resources Commission to develop an option that would allow the hunter to bring the buck to an MDNR office or check station, pay an additional fee while sacrificing the first tag of a combination license and keep the now legal buck.
Resolution II - Ottawa Sportsmen's Club "Bring Michigan's National Forests Into Compliance With The Management Plan; Is presented to request the United States Forest Service (USFS) comply with established management plans that provides a specified annual allowable volume of timber harvest has been and is currently offer less than 50 percent of its quota.
The practice is a detriment to Michigan's economy and the health of the National Forest lands within the UP.
This resolution proposes that MUCC meet with State and Federal Legislators and official from the USFS, to bring actual timber harvests on the National Forests in line with the Management Plan's allowable harvests.
Resolution III - Straits Area Sportsment's Club "Amend Certain UP Deer Hunting Licenses"; Is presented to request a change in the combination deer hunting license that currently requires the first buck have at least three legal antler points on one side, and the second buck have at least four legal antler points on one side.
This resolution proposes the MUCC work with the MDNR to reinstate the combination deer license to allow the taking of one buck with at least one legal antler point of 3 inches or longer on one side, and a second buck with four or more legal antler points on one side.
The resolution calls for implementation only in Deer Management Units (DMU) 017, 048, 249 and 349 of the eastern Upper Peninsula.
All three were voted in and will go before the statewide membership at the Summer Convention.
In other business, MUCC President Paul Rose addressed an issue that was presented two weeks ago by the leadership of the UP Sportsmen's Alliance on the television show Discovering. The comments made on the program were regarding MUCC's relationship with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
One comment stated there was a close financial relationship between the two entities.
According to Rose, it was alleged there are hundreds of thousands of dollars that are making their way from the MDNR to the MUCC. "That statement is completely untrue," said Rose.
MUCC examined records back to the year 2000 to see if there was anything they partnered with that might allow someone to say that is why they are so close to the MDNR, because they are being compensated in return.
"Facts show that the MUCC has put in far more money to the MDNR than they have received," said Rose.
Other comments regarding the current positive relationship between MUCC and the MDNR were inappropriate, he indicated.
"We have not always held a working relationship with the MDNR, in fact at one time MUCC had no open communication with the agency," said Rose. "Since then we've restored a good working relationship. It is odd that Farm Bureau is not criticized for having an effective relationship with the Department of Agriculture. No one criticizes the Road Builders Association for working closely with the Michigan Department of Transportation."
Rose explained that MUCC and the MDNR continue to have their differences at times. "There seems to be a double standard out there and we (MUCC) will not aggressively air our differences with the department for the sake of driving our membership," he said.
"We don't agree with everything. We are not lap dogs for the MDNR but we do now currently have a good (working) relationship with them. We're not going to be guilty of that, it is our mission. I don't want to dwell on the negative, but some might think the position (from UPSA) true if we don't respond to it."
The annual convention of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs is slated for July. An exact date and location will be announced.