Hunters and anglers in Michigan and other states say they're ready to work with the new administration and new Congress on key conservation issues.
Director of Sporting Advocacy with the National Wildlife Federation Aaron Kindle said sportsmen and sportswomen have unique insights on conservation. He explained they see firsthand the impacts of wildlife and habitat management, as well as the effects of climate change.
"Not very many people get up at four in the morning and go quietly into the woods and experience those changes, and experience what's going on out there," said Kindle. "And there's people out who've been hunting or fishing in the same area for 40 years. That really gives you a truly inside view of what's going on in that landscape."
Kindle organized a virtual summit this week with hunting and conservation groups from across the country to develop a roadmap of priorities for 2021. They discussed climate change, public lands management and protecting endangered species through the Recovering America's Wildlife Act.
It would provide funding for state-level actions to conserve wildlife and habitat.
Executive Director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs Amy Trotter said addressing Chronic Wasting Disease in the deer population is a major priority for hunters in Michigan. She said the federal government could offer funding and research to develop a better management approach.
"Anything that affects deer in our state is going to have a bottom-line impact on all fish and wildlife management," said Trotter. "So, it's a top priority to not let it diminish our hunting heritage in our state."
She added that other important conservation issues are continuing to work to address the threat of Asian carp in the Great Lakes, and maintaining the recent federal decision that removed wolves from the list of endangered species.