Testimony held for Senate Bill 37, proposed plan to allow baiting and feeding of white-tailed deer, elk
Six state senators, including Ed McBroom, were present down in Lansing via webcam for Tuesday morning's testimony in Escanaba on Senate Bill 37.
This bill was sponsored by State Senator Curt VanderWall, a Republican of Michigan’s 35th Senate District.
If this bill is passed, it would allow baiting and feeding of white-tailed deer and elk, counter-arguing the baiting and feeding ban supported down in the Lower Peninsula, which was created due to increased risk of CWD, or chronic wasting disease.
"The senator is trying to help us out with the baiting and feeding situation, across the state,” said Alanetten Hofer, a representative of Upper Peninsula’s Sportsmen Alliance and Chair of Wildlife Committee.
For the most part everyone in the room was in favor of the bill except for one person.
"This is government over-reach. It's not their job. It's not their position to do,” said George Lindquist, the President of Michigan United Conservation Club. “They are free to give input to the Natural Resources Commission and the DNR, but for them to micromanage is not the right thing to do."
Meanwhile, those in favor of the bill said that if deer baiting wasn't allowed, it would affect overall business for deer hunters, farmers and even the deer who depend on bait.
"Why should we let thousands of animals die because one or two may have CWD,” asked Hofer. “We need to manage, we need to work together and manage our herd in the proper way."
It's not clear what will happen after Tuesday’s discussion. However, community members in Escanaba hope to come up with a solution that will be in the best interest of both parties.