NRC Defends Sleeping Bear Recreation
The Michigan Natural Resources Commission today at its regular monthly meeting near Lansing passed a resolution opposing the U.S. Park Service's proposed general management plan for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Commissioners said several aspects of the plan appear to include options that will eliminate Coho salmon stocking on the Platte River, eliminate deer hunting on North Manitou Island, and reduce public access for fishing.
The Commission noted that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the state Natural Resource Commission are primarily responsible for managing fish, wildlife, and other resources in the state. Neither were consulted in the formulation of this proposed management plan. The NRC resolution expresses its strong concerns about the plan's potential impact on hunting, fishing, wildlife, and other outdoor recreation.
In other news, DNR Director K.L. Cool approved harvest quotas for the 2002 Michigan Elk Hunt and the 2002 deer harvest allocation. Cool approved 200 Elk licenses to be sold, with the DNR objective of harvesting approximately 38 antlered and 88 antlerless elk.
DNR Staff noted that deer populations in many areas of the state remain higher than desired, resulting in high numbers of car-deer collisions and unacceptable crop and range damage. Biologists hope hunters will harvest approximately 240,000 antlerless deer through the various hunting seasons this fall.