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E-M:/ Wacky Senate Committee Nomination!

Enviro-Mich message from anne.woiwode@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

What on earth is Dick Posthumus thinking of by renaming the Senate Agriculture
and Forestry Committee the Committee on Hunting, Fishing and Agriculture, and
then appointing David Jaye to chair it!

After the Repubs seemed to be doing their best to disavow any association with
Mr. Jaye in the primary for the Senate seat he now holds, Majority Leader
Posthumus has elevated a man who did not hold any Chairmanships in the House
the last time the Repubs held power to head a committee carved out
of at least two other committees (reportedly the committee will "overlap" with
the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee as well, but it is
hard to figure how a committee with hunting and fishing it's title won't
conflict with this committee).

One of the questions that comes to mind is whether this forum will be used by
more extreme Senate Republicans to blast through a scary proposal that has
surfaced in other states and is rearing its ugly head here as well.  Under the
euphemism of "hunter's rights," bills that would drastically alter the
emphasis on management of our public lands and natural resources have begun
showing up in state houses and at the U.S. Capitol this past year.  Last fall,
Rep. Llewellyn introduced a bill of this sort and evidently, although they
seem awfully gun shy about admitting it to anyone else in the environmental
community, MUCC has been working on a bill like this for a long time as well.

Unfortunately, the template for this kind of bill is a sharp departure from
the conservation ethic that has underlain the decades of natural resources
traditions in Michigan.  Rep. Llewellyn's bill has all the earmarks, and
threatens to drive an enormous wedge between those who view hunting as
intertwined with our natural resources heritage, and those who don't
give a hoot about the land and the resources.  I suppose if you wanted to
annoint a gang leader to carry out that agenda, David Jaye might be just the
fellow to do the job.

Seems pretty clear that Mr. Posthumus is writing off the real conservation
community that cares about healthy forests, healthy wildlife, healthy lakes
and streams, and is putting his money on those who just want to take and never
give back to the land.  This is a slap in the face of the true
conservationists of Michigan, hunters, anglers and others, who have upheld a
tradition of stewardship and concern for the woods, wetlands and wild places
of this state as well as enjoying their sport.

Anne Woiwode

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