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April 29, 2013

TV Ad Urges Michigan Lawmakers to Protect Voting Rights and Michigan’s Wildlife

SB 288 attacks citizen participation in democratic decision-making

A new TV ad airing throughout Michigan is urging state lawmakers to oppose legislation that would take away the rights of Michigan voters to have a say on any new hunting and trapping seasons of traditional non-game animals, including wolves and sandhill cranes. The Humane Society of the United States launched the new ad Monday.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO for The Humane Society of the United States said: “The quarter-million Michigan voters who signed petitions to place the wolf hunting referendum on the statewide ballot deserve respect, not a backhand from Lansing. They do not want to be silenced on wildlife protection. Not now, and not next time someone wants another trophy to hang on the wall. Voters must let House members and Governor Snyder know that this policy change is unacceptable.”

If passed, SB 288 would cede authority to the seven political appointees of the Natural Resources Commission to establish a hunting season for any animal they want, without any opportunity for voters to directly vote on these matters. The TV ad is running in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Marquette and Toledo and is available online at http://youtu.be/_H0NzKOytzU.

The ad tells viewers: “What are the politicians in Lansing afraid of? They passed a law to allow trophy hunting and trapping of wolves after decades of protection. A quarter million Michigan voters signed petitions to let the people have the final say. Now the legislature is pulling a fast one – passing a new bill to nullify our vote and giving our power to seven unelected bureaucrats. Silencing us on wolves, opening the door to hunt other protected species, too. Tell your legislators to let the people decide.” The ad encourages voters to call their legislators and urge them to vote ‘no’ on SB 288.

A hunting and trapping season on Michigan’s fragile and declining wolf population flies in the face of science, and is opposed by preeminent wolf experts Dr. Rolf Peterson and Dr. John Vucetich at Michigan Technological University in the Upper Peninsula.

The legislation was amended in the Senate last week to prevent the Natural Resources Commission from adding the mourning dove to the list of game species, in recognition of the landslide vote in 2006 rejecting the legislature’s dove hunting bill. The same recognition needs to be given to the more than quarter-million Michigan voters who signed petitions to place the wolf hunting referendum on the statewide ballot, and to voters who don’t want to be silenced on other wildlife protection measures.

The HSUS is urging all Michigan residents to call their state representative and Gov. Snyder and ask them to reject SB 288. 

Media Contact: Kaitlin Sanderson: 240-672-8397; ksanderson@humanesociety.org

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