Law off base

To the Journal editor:

Under Senate Bill 288, signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder, Michigan voters could be forever deprived of the right to decide on protecting wolves or other animals, including traditional non-game and endangered wildlife.

The measure grants the authority to list animals as game species to a handful of political appointees accountable to no one (Letter to the Editor: Bad Information, May 7).

Readers of The Mining Journal should know that the Humane Society of the United States prevents cruelty to animals before they are in distress.

The HSUS works to stop the most inhumane wildlife abuse practices, including captive hunting, fox penning and poaching, practices that many rank-and-file hunters and sportsmen agree are inhumane and unacceptable.

Yes, we also oppose an open trophy hunting and trapping season on Michigan’s wolves, which is not backed by sound science or Michigan’s own wolf scientists, who have studied wolves in this state for decades.

We’re in good company. More than 255,000 Michiganders – from allover the state, including the Upper Peninsula – have signed a petition to overturn a law allowing a wolf hunt on the 2014 ballot.

Trophy hunting and other extremist interests who would have these voices silenced rammed SB 288 through the legislature. The law is a misguided effort that renders the Michigan voters’ petitions essentially useless.

SB 288 places wildlife decisions into the hands of the Natural Resources Commission, a group of seven bureaucrats. Only one member has any background in science.

This new law is an obvious attempt to prevent Michigan citizens from exercising their constitutional rights to a ballot referendum to reverse decisions made by the legislature.

Politicians have no trouble trusting the citizens of Michigan to vote them into office, yet their knee-jerk reaction is to silence the voices that don’t suit the special interests.

All Michiganders who value their voting rights should contact Gov. Snyder today and express their disappointment that he stood for extreme special interests over democracy.

Jill Fritz, state director, Michigan

Humane Society of the United States