WE HAVE SNOW!!!! Heavy, wet snow!! Only about 3" of it and we know it isn't going to last because there is a warm up predicted for next week!
And Speaking of snow, there is a proposal on the ballot this fall that is very near and dear to the hearts of Michigan sportsmen and women. I am pasting the info here for you in case you are not aware of it. I know there are two sides to every story, but I DO feel that if hunters, boaters, snowmobilers, etc pay INTO a fund that is supposed to help support their sport, THAT FUND IS WHERE THE MONEY SHOULD STAY. With that said;
Proposal 1 meant to protect
By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily StarThursday, October 12, 2006 10:24 AM EDT
NILES - Dennis Fedewa, the chief deputy of Michigan's Department of Natural Resources, said Proposal 2006-1 is intended to protect conservation funds from being tapped for other government budgets.
The proposed amendment to Michigan's Constitution would not increase funding for the DNR, Fedewa said. The move is aimed at prohibiting future governors and legislators from using conservation funds for other state budgets in the red, he added.
"This really stems from four to five years ago when the previous administration took a positive fund balance from the Waterways Fund and moved it to the general fund to balance the state budget," Fedewa said, referring to former Michigan governor John Engler.
That move "raised red flags," Fedewa said, and turned attention toward protecting the funds generated by recreational activities in Michigan like hunting, fishing and boating.
According to a report published by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, Proposal 1, if passed at the Nov. 7 general election, would restructure a number of restricted DNR accounts by combining them into one large fund.
The move would transfer seven separate accounts into one legacy fund.The accounts that exist under the current fund structure are the Game and Fish Trust Fund, the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Trust Fund, the State Park Improvement Fund, the Michigan Waterways Fund, the Marine Safety Fund, the Michigan Harbor Development Fund, the Recreation Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund, Snowmobile Registration Fees, the ORV Trail Improvement Fund, the Safety Education Fund, the Forest Recreation Fund, the Game and Fish Protection Fund, and the Recreational Improvement Fund.
According to the CRC report, Proposal 1 would establish the Michigan Conservation and Recreation Legacy Fund, which would include the State Park Improvement Account, the Waterways Account, the Snowmobile Account, the ORV Account, the Forest Recreation Account, the Game and Fish Protection Account and the Recreation Improvement Account.
The Waterways Account would be a combination of the current Michigan Waterways Fund, the Marine Safety Fund and the Michigan Harbor Development Fund. The Recreational Snowmobile Trail Improvement Fund and Snowmobile Registration Fees would combine for the Snowmobile Account, and the ORV Trail Improvement Fund and the Safety Education Fund would be bunched under the ORV Account.Both the Game and Fish Trust Fund and the Nongame Fish and Wildlife Fund would remain.If DNR accounts are continually tapped for other areas of governmental spending, the costs for participating in recreational events in Michigan could rise, the CRC report stated. As an example, the report stated "Spending the money collected through user fees on programs not related to their intent means that snowmobilers, for example, pay more for general fund services."Fedewa said, if passed, Proposal 1 would guard the DNR's current funds, and would require an amendment of the state constitution in order for lawmakers to reverse the ruling and access conservation funds. However, the measure would still not solve the problem of a shortage of money, he added."It is not the answer to our funding problems. It is only protecting the dwindling amount of resources that we have," he said.
To access the CRC report on Proposal 1 online visit www.crcmich.org and search the site's publications. For the official ballot language of Proposal 1 go to the state's Secretary of State Web site at www.michigan.gov/sos.
(I'M STILL TYPING ONE HANDED SO FOR A WHILE OUR DAILY "CHATS" WILL BE SHORT OR ONE'S THAT I HAVE CUT AND PASTED SINCE I CAN'T TYPE MUCH YET!)
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