December 22, 2014

Legislative meetings have little impact on feeding ban

By Tim Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

MICHIGAN — On Tuesday, Sept. 9 and Thursday Sept. 11 the Michigan House of Representatives held legislative committee hearings and meetings with the state natural Resources Commission (NRC) respectively, to find a logical alternative to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Lower Peninsula deer feeding and baiting ban.

And while alternatives were proposed, it appears as though the ban will stand.

“It looks like the ban’s not going to be lifted,” said 97th District Representative Tim Moore (R-Farwell). He added about 120 people, including farmers and feed-sales business owners, attended the meeting with the NRC, as Moore says these citizens were “people that are very concerned about losing their livelihood.”

To add fuel to the fire, Moore says the mandated six-month ban, which will last until February, has no end in sight.

“Odds are it’s (ban) probably going to be extended,” he said.

Moore, who has openly opposed the ban since it became active after a case of chronic wasting disease was discovered in a captive deer in Kent County last month, says the house members opposing the ban are working to find some middle ground with the DNR — such as starting the ban later so business owners depending on deer season can accumulate enough sales to make it through the winter months.

“We should start this ban Jan. 1,” Moore said, adding he felt the NRC dodged many issues during the hearings by not acting on public comments made during the meeting. “Why are you (NRC) playing this shell game? This is very important stuff.”

But since the Jan. 1 start date may not surface, Moore says he is trying to find out whether or not an Executive Order from Governor Jennifer Granholm would be able to overturn the ban. He says if it can overturn the feeding and baiting ban, the Legislature will put pressure on the Governor to reverse the ruling.

“That (executive order) gives us another outlet,” Moore said.

Moore also says he proposed legislation making state departments, such as the DNR, report to legislators before making decisions like the feeding and baiting ban. He says this could be beneficial in the future, but not with the current predicament.

“In this situation, that would do nothing because it’s too late,” he said.

And as farmers, business owners and hunters continue to grow frustrated, Moore says he uncovered the truth about his own frustration during the NRC meetings.

“I found out that my level of frustration can go even higher with this (ban),” he said. “This plays into people’s frustration with government.”

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