Opposes SB 288

To the Journal editor:

State Sen. Tom Casperson’s SB 288 that recently passed in the state senate is anti-democratic, and is an attempt by him to destroy one of our historical rights as citizens to challenge new wildlife laws passed by the legislature and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

This is much more than about a wolf hunt. It’s a slippery slope toward removing citizen’s rights to a democratic referendum process that we are provided via our Michigan state constitution, by Casperson exploiting loopholes.

Further, the people’s referendum repealing Public Act 520 that prompted SB 288, is not about taking away the well accepted right to hunt and fish in Michigan.

The argument used in defense of SB 288 is that the wildlife professionals at the DNR know best about management of ecosystems, and that the public should not have the final say.

That might sound reasonable, except for the fact that Casperson, via his deletions and amendments of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act in his SB 1226 last year, seems to be also trying to undermine wildlife professionals ability to use good science to make these decisions.

SB 1226 changes the rulebook for the MI DNR. It is my opinion as well as that of university wildlife biologist experts, that his writing and sponsorship of SB 1226 last September means that he believes that biodiversity in our ecosystem is a bad idea, and that he wants wildlife professionals to operate under the false premise that loss of wildlife habitat and biodiversity is not primarily caused by man.

So the strategy seems to be to hamstring the state’s wildlife professional’s with rules not based on scientific reality and to simultaneously prevent the public from checking any subsequent bad decision-making.

Every citizen and especially all fishermen and hunters should be outraged by these kind of anti-democracy and anti-wildlife, efforts by elected officials. I urge everyone to contact Tom Casperson and tell him to stop his attacks on democracy.

Further, all proponents of democracy need to contact state representatives John Kivela and Scott Dianda and urge them to oppose this awful Senate Bill 288 as it comes soon to them for a vote.

Scott Emerson

Chocolay Township