Pavlov fights for outdoor integrity, Michigan sportsmen

LANSING, Mich.—Sen. Phil Pavlov, along with Sen. Tom Casperson, on Thursday introduced legislation to toughen penalties for illegally killing a protected animal or trophy buck in the state of Michigan.

“From St. Clair to Escanaba, poaching and quality deer management are serious concerns for property owners and sportsmen alike,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, vice chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes. “Protecting our wild resources is important to all of us who enjoy Michigan’s great outdoors, and we must do more to deter violators who do not play by the rules.”

Senate Bills 1340 and 1341 would increase existing fines for illegally killing a protected animal and impose additional penalties for poaching trophy bucks. The new measures are consistent with policies in neighboring states.

Under the proposed laws, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources would use the “Boone and Crockett” scoring standard to assess an additional level of restitution when a trophy buck is taken illegally. The score is based on gross size of the antler measurement and is already used by other states, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Offenders would be subject to a fine of up to $1,000 per deer, additional restitution based on antler size, possible misdemeanor fines and up to 90 days in jail. Offenders could also have their hunting privileges revoked for the remainder of the year convicted and three subsequent years. Fines would be deposited into the state’s Game and Fish Protection Fund.

The bills were referred to the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee, where a hearing is expected in October.

Pavlov spearheads bipartisan legislation to modernize Michigan’s Civilian Conservation Corps

LANSING, Mich.—State Sen. Phil Pavlov on Tuesday led a bipartisan group of Senate colleagues, university officials, and conservation leaders at the Capitol to announce legislation to revive and modernize Michigan’s Civilian Conservation Corps (MCCC).

The legislation would place new emphasis on public-private partnerships and the involvement of young people in the historic national program.

“We are taking a program that used to rely solely on government and are repositioning it to grow without taxpayer dollars,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “The new MCCC will tap into Michigan’s unique natural resources to show the next generation they can get a hands-on, practical education that can lead to a job right here at home.”

The package would reshape the MCCC to be operated in partnership by universities, private companies, and nonprofit organizations while maintaining its traditional roots of field-based training, conservation and restoration work. It would expand the scope of participants to Michigan youth aged 18-25 and broaden the span of work training programs available to participants.

The goals of the new MCCC program are retention of Michigan’s youth, stewardship of the state’s natural resources, enhanced education and employment opportunities and improved labor resources for state agencies and other conservation organizations.

Stakeholders were quick to praise the changes. The package is supported by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Association of Conservation Districts, and others, including a number of the state’s public universities.

“The Michigan Recreation and Park Association supports the Civilian Conservation Corps as a valuable employment opportunity for young people in our state and a program that will lead to the enhancement of Michigan’s public parks,” said MRPA Chief Operating Officer Ann Conklin.

Other bill sponsors are Sens. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Mike Green, R-Mayville; Goeff Hansen, R-Hart; and Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor.

The Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the package Thursday morning.