As such, our government should do whatever it takes to make licensure for these time-honored traditions an easy process.
Having to purchase licenses each year in a busy society is, well, inconvenient.
The state used to offer lifelong licenses to state residents — and, in 1989, the last year it was offered, 3,135 anglers and hunters purchased them. Overall, more than $1 million in lifelong license sales occurred, and the state keeps the money in a trust, with a portion withdrawn each year to support wildlife management efforts.
Now state Rep. Richard LeBlanc, D-Westland, has asked the question of why the state doesn’t offer these lifelong licenses anymore. About time.
He introduced a bill that would bring back the licenses, and wildlife officials and other special interest groups are all chiming in.
Wildlife officials claim such licenses are a pain to manage, and could mean cuts in funding for wildlife management efforts in the long run as young hunters get more than their money’s worth out of licenses.
While this might be the case in some situations, more than likely the state wouldn’t entirely switch to expensive lifelong licenses. Most folks will opt for the yearly license rather than pay out a large sum of money up front. Many others might pay for it, then not use it after a year or three. Then there are the out-of-state visitors who could be offered only yearly licenses.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials should put aside the “sky is falling” mentality, and instead find a way to offer convenient and long-term licensure that makes sense for state residents.
Why? Because getting people safely outdoors to enjoy fishing, trapping and hunting should be a priority. It is our heritage, after all.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Kevin Collier and Liz Stuck. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.