Songbird Protection Coalition
Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2017
Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition opposes proposals to hunt mourning doves and sandhill cranes, urging it does not reflect state tradition
LANSING MI - The Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition joins thousands of Michigan citizens in opposing efforts to allow the hunting of mourning doves and sandhill cranes.
The coalition calls on the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and its governing body, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC), along with the Michigan legislature, to reject proposals by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) to undo more than a century of protections for the two iconic species.
"Michigan voters overwhelmingly rejected a mourning dove hunting season in 2006 because they did not want these peaceful birds to be killed for target practice. Mourning doves are not overpopulated, do not cause crop damage, and 30 percent are crippled and unretrieved by hunters," said Julie Baker, director of the Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition.
In addition to being protected in Michigan for more than 100 years, mourning doves were given additional protection in 2016 by a law prohibiting the NRC from adding any species to the game species list that had been rejected by public referendum prior to May 14, 2013 - namely, mourning doves.
Sandhill cranes, meanwhile, are a vulnerable and recovering species that were nearly wiped out in Michigan by the mid-20th century due to hunting and loss of habitat.
"The fact that their population has begun to stabilize is surely due to a sound non-game conservation policy," said Baker.
According to Baker, MUCC's move to urge a sandhill crane hunt appears to reverse its earlier position on the issue. A Sept. 19, 2014 article by Howard Meyerson in The Outdoor Journal quoted an MUCC spokeswoman as saying: "We're not interested in pushing it (sandhill crane hunting)."
The Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition hopes the spokeswoman's words continue to ring true. Sandhill cranes are often described as majestic in flight and their trumpeting call is considered one of the most unique sounds in nature. They are so beloved by "birders" and other nature enthusiasts that each October, a Sandhill Crane Festival is held in southern Michigan, near Bellevue, that attracts visitors from across Michigan and beyond.
For more information about our call to action to prevent hunting of mourning doves and sandhill cranes and, please visit the Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition website: www.songbirdprotection.com