Legislators Again Trying to Reduce Environmental Protections

Last year the Republican majority in the legislature amended the sand dune protection and management act (SDPMA). Repealing the act would have revealed their disdain of environmental protection, so instead they simply removed most protections that the act had provided. They then tried to sell the changes by characterizing them as improvements. See the previous posts: July 12 and September 10.

Now they are beginning the same process in order to revise and weaken the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act PART 355 (Biological Diversity Conservation) and Part 525 (Sustainable Forestry on State Forestlands).

The proposed amendments contained in SB78 (Senate Bill 78) would:

  1. Revise the definition of “conservation” with regard to biological diversity, removing key provisions regarding restoration, distribution and the “continued existence” of native species and communities.
  2. Prohibit the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Natural Resources Commission designating or classifying an area of land specifically for the purpose of achieving or maintaining biological diversity.
  3. Delete the conservation of biological diversity from the DNR’s duties regarding forest management, and require the Department to balance its management activities with economic values. A similar ploy was used in the amendments to the SDPMA.
  4. Eliminate a requirement that the DNR manage forests in a manner that promotes restoration.
  5. Delete (deny) the legislative finding that most losses of biological diversity are the result of human activity.


For more information and an analysis of the SB78 see the Michigan Environmental Council’s blog at http://www.michigandistilled.org It also provides a very clear description of the importance of the existing law and outlines how biodiversity is important to Michigan and its forests.

Let your state senator and representative know that you support managing state lands for biodiversity. Local senators are:

Senator John Proos, ?P.O. Box 30036,?Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone:(517) 373-6960
By Fax: (517) 373-0897
By Email: SenJProos@senate.michigan.gov

Senator David B. Robertson, P.O. Box 30036,?Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone: (517)373-1636
Toll Free: (866)305-2126
By Fax: (517)373-1453
By Email: SenDRobertson@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Arlan B. Meekhof, (a sponsor of SB 78) P.O. Box 30036,?Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone: (517)373-6920
Toll Free: (866)305-2130
By Fax: (517)373-2751
By Email: SenAMeekhof@senate.michigan.gov

Senator Tonya Schuitmaker, ?P.O. Box 30036,Lansing, MI 48909-7536
By Phone: (517) 373-0793
By Fax: (517) 373-5607
By Email: Click here to send an email message.

Senator Goeff Hansen, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909
By Phone: (517)373-1635
By Fax: (517)373-3300
By email: Click here to send an email message.

Local Representative are:

State Representative (78) David Pagel, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909
By Phone: (517) 373-1796
By FAX: (517) 373-5918
By Email: DavePagel@house.mi.gov

State Representative Al Pscholka (79), P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909
By Phone: (517) 373-1403
By Toll Free: (888) 656-0079
By Email: AlPscholka@house.mi.gov

State Representative Bob Genetski (80), P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909
By Phone: (517) 373-0836
By Toll Free: (855) REP-0080 [855-737-0080]
By Email: BobGenetski@house.mi.gov

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