New NRC commissioner took his seat 1/1/18

Discussion in 'Gear Restrictions and Trout Fishing Regs' started by kzoofisher, Jan 28, 2018.

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  1. kzoofisher

    kzoofisher

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    John W. Walters of Vanderbilt was appointed to the Natural Resources Commission by Governor Rick Snyder, with his term beginning January 1, 2018.


    John works for Roseburg Forest Products, based in Eugene, Oregon. The company manufactures softwood and hardwood plywood, particle board, and engineered wood products (I-Joist and LVL for residential construction). John works from his home office as the Territory Sales Manager, Engineered Wood Products (EWP), selling and traveling EWP in four states. John has been in the residential building materials industry since 1988.


    As John was growing up, his parents, Bill and Irene Walters, and his Boy Scout Master Bill Lee, taught him about the outdoors and respecting the state’s natural resources. They emphasized, “Leave it better than how you found it.” He was raised hunting, fishing, and appreciating the great outdoors. John is an Eagle Scout with a Bronze Palm.


    John earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from Northern Michigan University in 1987.


    John loves to fly fish all year for trout, which is what invigorated his passionate involvement in conservation. He has served as the state chairman of Michigan Trout Unlimited and president of the Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited. He also served as a board member of Anglers of the Au Sable and was most recently vice-president. He served as a member of the Pigeon River Country State Forest – Advisory Council and as chairman since 2010. John has also served on the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s – Rural Development Fund Board

    John and his wife reside in Vanderbilt along with their closest hunting and fishing partner, Sue. Married since 1992, the couple has two German Short-hair Pointers, George and Winston. They spend much of their time on the river chasing trout, in the woods hunting upland birds and deer, or snowshoeing throughout the winter in northern Michigan,
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. toto

    toto

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    This so fraught with danger it's ridiculous, I'm NOT referring to just fly fishing aspect either. Doesn't it bother you that he is heavily involved in the forest protect industry, and therefore capable of swaying decisions that could enhance his companies business? This pick bothers me from so many angles it's not even funny. We now know too that our governor is obviously deciding to sway the NRC towards more for the fly guys. Here, let's makeiteasy, just make ALL waters of Michigan flies only, why not just eliminate the little guy all together?
     

  3. Trout King

    Trout King

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    More special interests appointees, how wonderful.
     
  4. kzoofisher

    kzoofisher

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    His track record with conservation groups that support the wise use of resources, without exploitation that damages the environment, is encouraging. Not everyone who makes a living in forestry is a bad person. Some have their heart in the right place.

    The point of special interest appointees, esp. industry appointees, is well taken. The NRC currently consists of:
    2 people from timber, 1 with a minor in mining 1 with a minor in Ag
    3 people from Ag
    2 lawyers
    They all also have credentials in conservation groups like DU, land conservancies and so forth.

    They wield great power over all our natural resources and the rules that govern our fishing/hunting, with very little oversight. That was a concern I voiced a while back when I thought the baby was being thrown out with the bathwater just to satisfy a tiny special interest group of hunters. But the allure of being associated with a successful special interest group is strong and many outdoors people jumped on a speeding train whose destination they didn't understand. I also noted at that time that the concentration of power in the hands of fewer people, and political appointees to boot, was bad policy and likely to have the opposite effect from the one intended, though the effect would probably work out well for me. All the commissioners terms expire between Dec 2018 and Dec 2021. The next Governor will have an unprecedented opportunity to guide the direction of natural resources management and fishing/hunting in Michigan. It will be very interesting to watch.
     
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  5. Mr. Botek

    Mr. Botek

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    Concerning for sure if an anti-hunting/fishing individual is elected as Governor. There are other states experiencing right now what it's like to have anti-hunting members running their equivalent of our NRC. We shall all see together.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
     
  6. swampbuck

    swampbuck

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    The current Governor has appointed or reappointed every member, in fact I believe he did it in his first term.

    I do find the opportunity for the wrong governor to wreck havoc concerning our sport a bad idea, and have been saying that for years.

    As far as their varied interest's....well, they are in charge of all natural resources, not just the warm blooded ones, so that's pretty logical.

    It's probably not a good time to cause division among outdoorsmen.
     
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  7. kzoofisher

    kzoofisher

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    Indeed. This was brought up during the discussions on the Scientific Management Act and supporters refused to acknowledge it was possible. Very short sighted by the special interests that were pushing the Act unless they saw it coming and were just scamming the folks who were gullible enough to believe that a "simple, common sense" solution to a political issue was possible.

    Agree. Unfortunately, the dividers are once again lining up to say that if they can't get their way they are going to take their ball and go home. I can't say I entirely blame them, the arguments of philosophy and emotion have been losing a little more each year and sooner or later reality can't be denied.
     
  8. toto

    toto

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    Taking my ball is not what I meant. I'm just concerned about the direction of our natural resources direction. I'm not so sure that having this much power in the hands of a few is wise. I'm not completely sure what the answer is, but I'm quite sure there has to be a better way.
     
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  9. swampbuck

    swampbuck

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    The legislature still has oversight. But that route is not without risks.

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  10. kzoofisher

    kzoofisher

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    I've heard this and I'm wondering what oversight they have? They give advise and consent to appointments. After that, what? The Legislature makes the budget and could defund* the NRC I suppose, but the reaction from both the public and businesses that depend on the NRC making decisions would be extreme. There may be a mechanism for removing a Commissioner that I'm not aware of. If so, standard practice would indicate that it would require more reason than "I don't like the way the Commissioner votes".

    The Legislature still has the power to name game species; that's the only power they have as far as regulating game goes. They can't create a season for a new game species or alter a season for an existing one. They can't overturn, rescind or liberalize decisions made by the NRC relating to the taking of game. Both the NRC and the Legislature are bound by any ballot initiative that took effect before May 14, 2014. I'm not aware what power the Legislature has to change other laws that were passed before that date but they might have some. Any new law would not be able to regulate the taking of game. They can regulate agriculture, mineral extraction, timber and commercial fishing. Again, what oversight power do you see them having in regards to game regulations? I must be missing something.

    *Commissioners make $155,000 a year for 12 public meetings, conference calls and I suppose keeping up with whatever subjects come before them. They probably get in some good fishing and hunting while the *learn* about an issue, too. Not a bad gig.
     
  11. kzoofisher

    kzoofisher

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    Sorry about that, just basing my opinion on previous posting from you. Glad to see you've decided to stick it out.
     
  12. toto

    toto

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    Not totally clear what you mean koo but to clarify further, our natural resources should never have become a political issue. In fact in the original administrative procedures act, way back when the department of conservation was first started; it was dictated that legislature was hands off. All I have ever asked us to take special interests out of resources, follow the science and everything would be fine. I understand your point of doing what the public asks for, but there's also reasons for NOT doing things too. Hope that made sense.
     
  13. toto

    toto

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    After getting some sleep i re-read these posts. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these folks serve at the pleasure of the governor and I don't believe there is any way to remove one member legislatively, about the only way would be if they did something illegal. For example, let's say one member used this position to enhance his business, or accepted a bribe, that would be a reason. In reality, it just bothers me that a select few have the power to effect our outdoor pursuits. I suppose it's pretty much the same with all of us, the fact that the elite are having their way in these matters is just sickening to me. On that, I'll bet we can all agree. One thing that will be interesting is to see what will happen in the chumming issue. As you know, some fishing guides got chumming banned, frankly I couldn't care less; however now the guides are whining that they have lost business and want the chumming ban reversed. 2 things about that, 1) they used science to stop the chumming and 2) This also sort of puts the NRC in a trick bag, perhaps they would love to reverse it on one hand, but dare not on the other hand. This is an example of what I'm talking about. They haven't changed yet, as far as I know, but we'll see what happens in the future. Sorry for the long post and the sidetracking.
     
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  14. swampbuck

    swampbuck

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    The last I knew, they don't get paid, they are voluntary positions.

    As far as the legislature. The NRC operates under the advice and consent of the Senate (per the MNREPA)

    But the bottom line is that the NRC makes regulations, the Legislature makes LAWS. And legislative law supercedes regulations.

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  15. kzoofisher

    kzoofisher

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    The law states that "The natural resources commission has the exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game as defined in section 40103 in this state.", emphasis mine. Seems pretty clear to me that the Legislature has no authority. If they pass a law regulating the taking of game they are in violation of existing law. Incidentally, this is why it is important to get more fish on the game list. If walleye were on the list the Legislature wouldn't be able to pass a law allowing commercial take.

    They can name game animals. If they choose to write a new law that supersedes this one they can do that. But they cannot decide that the limit on bluegill be increased to 1000 or decreased to 0. The public can also initiate a new law, complete with an appropriation, and send it on to the Legislature.


    You are correct. The list I looked at Called the DNR Director *Commissioner* and I didn't catch it. Thank you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
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