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July 13, 2015
Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, Public Relations Manager | [email protected] | 734.757.0408 (cell)
Lawsuit by Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Summarily Dismissed

Lansing—The Michigan Court of Claims today dismissed a lawsuit by anti-hunting groups challenging the constitutionality of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. In a strongly-worded opinion by the Honorable Mark T. Boonstra, the Court ruled in favor of the State of Michigan, Department of Natural Resources and Natural Resources Commission and summarily dismissed the challenge to the law from Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, which was heavily financed and run by the Humane Society of the United States.
“The Attorney General’s office did an excellent job of defending this law on its constitutional merits,” said Drew YoungeDyke, public relations manager for Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC). “The Court recognized that the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act was about just what its title says, managing fish, wildlife and their habitats with sound science.”
The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (SFWCA) was enacted as a citizen initiative by the Michigan Legislature in August of 2014 under a constitutional provision that allows citizens to propose laws to their elected representatives. The initiative, led by the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management coalition, contained provisions designed to manage fish, wildlife and habitat with sound science, including authorizing the Natural Resources Commission to designate game species (including wolves) and issue fisheries orders while requiring it to use sound science, discounting hunting and fishing licenses for active military members (hunting and fishing licenses pay for fish and wildlife management), and appropriating $1 million to manage and prevent aquatic invasive species.
The Court ruled that “the general purpose or aim, of the SFWCA is to manage fish, wildlife and their habitats,” and that, “provisions in the SFWCA relate to this object,” contrary to Keep Michigan Wolves Protected’s claim that they were unrelated to each other. Therefore, it ruled that Keep Michigan Wolves Protected “fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted,” and dismissed the challenge.
"We still have some work to do on the federal level to restore scientific state management of wolves, but this was a tremendous effort by the conservation community of Michigan to ensure a transparent and scientific process for fish and wildlife management in our state," said Dan Eichinger, executive director for MUCC.
Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management was a coalition of Michigan conservation, hunting, fishing and trapping organizations formed to pass the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. Its steering committee included representatives from Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Michigan Bear Hunters Association, Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, Michigan chapters of Safari Club International, Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance, U.P. Whitetails, Inc., U.P. Whitetails of Marquette County, U.P. Bear Houndsmen Association, the Michigan Salmon and Steelhead Fishermen's Association, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited and numerous local conservation groups from around the state.
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