ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - Hunting is an important part of many people's lives, not only in the U.P., but throughout the entire state.
Due to this, Michigan communities are voicing their support for Senate Resolution 37, because they fear the worst will happen if it doesn't pass.
"Bait in my opinion contributes heavily to survival rates of U.P. deer, because October through January, they have an additional food supplemen. A lot of them pack on nutrition they would not otherwise have access to, and with severe winter mortality rates, with baiting in place, I would be concerned what those mortality rates would look like if baiting were to disappear in some areas,” said Jordan Hoover, a supporter of Senate Resolution 37.
Senate Resolution 37 would allow baiting and feeding of white-tailed deer and elk, counter-arguing the baiting and feeding ban supported in the Lower Peninsula.
This was created due to increased risk of CWD, or chronic wasting disease.
However, if this ban is put into place, those in favor are afraid of how it would negatively affect deer, hunters and the economy.
"I realize the seriousness of CWD, and I also realize once CWD is found in an area there's not very much you can do about it,” explained Dale McNamee, another supporter of Senate Resolution 37. “You certainly aren't going to do it by starving deer to death, that's not going to take care of the problem."
But this wasn't the only item discussed on Wednesday’s agenda.
State senators also talked about Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's application to regulate water and air quality on the L’Anse Reservation.
This proposal was introduced by State Senator Ed McBroom of Michigan’s 38th Senate District as Senate Resolution 49.
The KBIC is against this proposal because it would not allow their community to develop and administer its own water quality standards within the L'Anse reservation.
On Wednesday, the KBIC President testified. He hopes to collaborate with state leaders on an application to the environmental protection agency.
In his testimony he said:
"We would like to thank you for conducting this hearing this morning, and hearing the concerns of your constituents all over the state. The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community wants to be a part of the solution here to the clean water. Clean water is not only important to the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, but all state residents. With the effects of PFAs, and other environmental concerns of stuff that is attacking that water, we just want to be a part of the solution. We think this is an opportunity to work together with the state of Michigan, the federal government and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community to help those clean water standards so my people can live a clean life, and not only a clean life, but our way of life is dependent upon clean water. We're a fishing tribe. We'd like to grow some of the manoomin, which is the plant that grows on the water or the food that grows on water, which is wild rice. That's one of the reasons we'd like to have a little bit more stringent water quality standards because we want to be able to grow that wild rice on waters on or near the L'Anse Indian Reservation. Really the way that water standards are... there aren't protective of wild rice. I'm sure the state, federal government and also the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community would want to be able to create a win-win situation where we're creating a co-management partnership agreement where we're all taking care of the water. I'm sure that our resources and the state's resources have an opportunity to create an umbrella of protection for the water on or near the L'Anse Indian Reservation. I think the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community would be a part of the solution, so I just wanted to take that opportunity. We have some good comments I think we're going to be putting in, but we just want to be a part of the solution, Senator and I appreciate your time. Thank you."
The state senators did not reach a decision regarding either senate resolutions. But they are working towards having one soon to benefit all parties involved.