senate Resolution No.20
Senators McBroom, Zorn, Daley, Lauwers, Outman, Victory and VanderWall offered the following resolution:
A resolution to encourage the Natural Resources Commission to add Eastern sandhill cranes to the game species list and seek U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval to establish an Eastern sandhill crane hunting season.
Whereas, Michigan is home to an ever-increasing population of Eastern sandhill cranes. The 2020 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fall survey of Eastern sandhill cranes estimated 18,874 cranes in Michigan prior to fall migration. An estimated 13,352 were recorded in 2018; and
Whereas, The explosion in the Eastern sandhill crane population in the state has caused significant issues for Michigan farmers. Although depredation permits are available, the resource is wasted as farmers are prohibited from possessing or consuming dead birds taken under depredation permits. A hunting season would reduce the number of nuisance birds while utilizing this food resource; and
Whereas, Eastern sandhill cranes are already hunted in Minnesota, Tennessee, and Kentucky when they migrate beyond Michigan's borders. They are classified as a game species under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1916; and
Whereas, Hunting seasons are strictly regulated by the Mississippi Flyway Council and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ensure that the Eastern sandhill crane population remains robust. Under the Eastern Population Crane Management Plan, states may only receive approval for a hunting season from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after submitting pertinent information to the Mississippi Flyway Council, including an estimate of the peak number of Eastern sandhill cranes and time of migration over a five-year period, proposed number of permits to be issued, and proposed season dates. States with hunting seasons are required to gather information from hunters and track the Eastern sandhill crane population; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That we encourage the Natural Resources Commission to add Eastern sandhill cranes to the game species list and seek U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approval to establish an Eastern sandhill crane hunting season; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, the Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Governor of Michigan.