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Public comment opportunities available on DNR recommended deer regulation changes

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has recommended a series of deer regulation changes for the upcoming fall hunting seasons, which the Michigan Natural Resources Commission will be discussing over the next three months.

Several opportunities for public comment will be available before the commission makes decisions expected in July. There are changes proposed statewide and for both of Michigan’s peninsulas individually.

The recommendations range from a baiting and feeding ban proposed for the Core Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance Area in the Upper Peninsula and a moderate increase in U.P. antlerless deer licenses, to redefining bait to exclude natural or synthetic food-scented materials not consumed by deer and moving the Liberty Hunt to the second weekend in September to avoid potential conflicts between hound bear hunters and youth deer hunters.

Find out more on the proposed antlerless deer license quotas in the U.P., and the remaining proposed Wildlife Conservation Order changes, which will be offered to the NRC for information only at the commission’s May 9 meeting in Lansing.

“Most any time changes are proposed to deer hunting regulations in Michigan, you can count on a great deal of interest from hunters across the state,” said DNR Wildlife Division chief Russ Mason. “It is very important hunters have opportunities for their voices to be heard on what we are recommending before any decisions are made.”

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission is a seven-member public body whose members are appointed by the governor. The commission has exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game and sportfish and is authorized to designate game species.

The NRC conducts monthly public meetings at locations throughout Michigan. Citizens are encouraged to become actively involved in these public forums, either by writing or by attending meetings to offer public comments in person.

The following is a list of upcoming opportunities to offer public comment:

By email: NRC@michigan.gov

By mail: Michigan Natural Resources Commission, P.O. 30028, Lansing, MI 48909-7528

May 9, 2019: Public Comment to the Michigan Natural Resource Commission: Meeting at Lansing Community College, Gannon Bld., 422 N. Washington Square, Lansing. To sign up in advance for public comment at any NRC meeting, contact Cheryl Nelson, assistant to the Natural Resources Commission, by phone at 517-284-6237 or by email at NelsonC@michigan.gov.

May 22, 2019: Upper Peninsula DNR Listening Session: 1-3 p.m. EDT. Michigan Technological University, Memorial Union Building, Ballroom A, Houghton. Comments will be recorded and provided to the NRC. NRC Chairwoman Vicki Pontz is scheduled to be in attendance.

May 22, 2019: DNR Western Upper Peninsula Citizens’ Advisory Council meeting: 5:30-8 p.m. EDT, Michigan Technological University, Memorial Union Building, Ballroom A, Houghton. A brief update from the May 9 NRC meeting will be presented, along with other topics. Public comment on all topics occurs during this regularly scheduled meeting.

June 10: Upper Peninsula DNR Listening Session: 2-4 p.m. EDT. Munising Township Hall, Wetmore. Comments will be recorded and provided to the NRC. NRC Commissioner Dave Nyberg is scheduled to be in attendance.

June 10: DNR’s Eastern Upper Peninsula Citizens’ Advisory Council meeting: 6-8:30 p.m. EDT, Munising Township Hall, Wetmore. A brief update from the May 9 NRC meeting will be presented, along with other topics. Public comment on all topics occurs during this regularly scheduled meeting.

June 13, 2019: Public Comment to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission: Detroit Zoological Society, 8450 West Ten Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI.

July 11, 2019: Public Comment to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission: MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, 4125 Beaumont Road, Lansing, MI

For more information on the Michigan Natural Resources Commission visit: Michigan.gov/NRC or for more on deer, go to Michigan.gov/Deer. To find more about chronic wasting disease see Michigan.gov/CWD.