Granholm Eyes Controversial Bill
Published June 9, 2004. By Amy
F. Bailey. Lansing State Journal.
The decision of whether to allow hunters to shoot mourning doves in Michigan now is up to Gov. Jennifer Granholm.
The state House voted 65-40 on Tuesday to approve a bill that would change the dove's classification from a song bird to a game bird. The legislation would allow the Natural Resources Commission to set the parameters for a dove hunting season.
The seven-member commission could follow a proposal offered by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs to set three trial mourning dove seasons in several counties near the state's southern border.
The MUCC suggested the trial as a compromise with Granholm, who had said she would only sign a bill creating a dove hunt if it would go before voters on the ballot. NRC Chairman Keith Charters has indicated he would support a trial hunt.
Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said Tuesday the governor is interested in the MUCC's proposal. "She sees it as a reasonable alternative that she had not considered," Boyd said. "But she has not made a final decision."
Republican Rep. Sue Tabor of Eaton County's Delta Township introduced the bill. She said she doesn't see the need for trial dove hunt seasons but would go along with whatever the NRC decides. "We're not going to wipe out the doves. There's still going to be plenty of them at ... bird feeders," she said.
The legislation would require mourning dove hunters to obtain a $2 dove stamp as well as the state's regular small game hunting license.
Wayne Pacelle, chief executive
officer of the Humane Society of the United States, said many
of its members are upset about a possible dove hunt in the state
and are beginning to call and write Granholm.
- Songbird Protection Coalition