Natural resources are best managed by the experts

There’s a stark difference between the Disney Channel and the Discovery Channel.
May 23, 2013

Disney shows us a fairytale version of reality — cute and cuddly deer, skunks and bunnies that frolic with each other in sunlit meadows; a fox and a hound becoming best buddies; and a boy raised by a protective panther and a blundering bear.

Discovery, on the other hand, shows it like it is — the brutal reality of nature, which is neither cute nor cuddly but often violent, with plenty of unhappy endings.

That’s why we applaud Gov. Rick Snyder for signing Senate Bills 288 and 289 into law last week. Those two bills allow the state's Natural Resources Commission — not politicians swayed by emotion and deep-pocketed lobbyists — to name game species in Michigan.

The bills also establish a right in Michigan to hunt, fish and trap, in addition to providing free licenses to members of the military.

But the meat and potatoes of the action is taking the right to name game species out of the lap of the Legislature and into the hands of the Natural Resources Commission, a seven-member public body whose members are appointed by the governor. It’s an eclectic mix of people from across the state and includes experts in all things outdoors, from land use and conservation to wildlife biology.

In our opinion, the commission is much more capable of making sound decisions based on actual research and facts. They won’t be swayed by emotional public opinions, which often aren’t in the best interest of the state’s wildlife.

These bills were widely supported by Michigan’s conservation community, and opposed by the anti-hunting Humane Society of the United States organization.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

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