New deer baiting ban in effect for hunters
The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) implemented several new regulations to help limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in the state, including a ban on deer baiting.
CWD is a fatal neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. There is no cure for the animals, and it is unclear whether the disease can be transmitted to humans, hence the abundance of caution.
The disease was first discovered in our state in 2015 and, to date, more than 31,000 deer have been tested. Sixty cases of CWD have been confirmed thus far in six counties, including here in Kent County, as well as in Clinton, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, and Montcalm counties.
According to the DNR, the new regulations include:
- A statewide ban on the use of all natural cervid urine-based lures and attractants, except for lures that are approved by the Archery Trade Association.
- An immediate ban on baiting and feeding in the 16-county area identified as the CWD Management Zone. This area includes Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa and Shiawassee counties.
- A ban on baiting and feeding in the Lower Peninsula, effective Jan. 31, 2019, with an exception to this ban for hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements. The start date on this regulation is intended to allow bait producers and retailers time to adjust to the new rule.
- Effective immediately in the CWD Management Zone and four-county bovine tuberculosis area (in Alcona, Alpena, Montmorency and Oscoda counties), hunters with disabilities who meet specific requirements can now use 2 gallons of single-bite bait, such as shelled corn, during the Liberty and Independence hunts.
- Allowance of all legal firearms to be used in muzzleloader season in the CWD Management Zone.
- A purchase limit of 10 private-land antlerless licenses per hunter in the CWD Management Zone.
- Restrictions on deer carcass movement in the five-county CWD Core Area (Ionia, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm and Newaygo counties) and the CWD Management Zone.
- Antlerless options on deer licenses/combo licenses during firearms seasons in the five-county CWD Core Area.
- Expansion of early and late antlerless seasons in select counties.
- Changes to regulations regarding wildlife rehabilitators.
For more information on the new DNR regulations, visit Michigan.gov/CWD
. Blue Star Families license plate bill gets my support, passes Senate
Our service members make many sacrifices in service to our country. Many times, their families do as well.
I recently supported Senate legislation to create a special license plate recognizing families of active duty military. Senate Bill 821
would create a Blue Star Families license plate available to individuals currently serving in the U.S. armed forces and their immediate family members. The plate would show the Blue Star Families insignia and "Blue Star Family" beneath the registration number, allowing families to share their pride in their enlisted service member. The bill has been sent to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
A Gold Star Family license plate available to the immediate family of a service member who has died in the line of duty is among current special recognition plates offered by the secretary of state. Bills to protect judges, law enforcement approved
Law enforcement and judges who uphold the law must be able to do their jobs without threats or intimidation.
There have been reports about an increasing amount of intimidation and harassment directed at judges and officers, especially on social media. I recently voted in support of Senate legislation to protect public officials from threats intended to interfere with the legal process. Senate Bills 973
have been sent to the House for consideration. New unclaimed property website
The Michigan Department of Treasury has millions of dollars in lost or forgotten assets from inactive bank accounts, uncashed checks, valuables left in safe deposit boxes and stock certificates.
An updated, state-of-the art website will make it easier to check on lost or abandoned property. People can go to www.michigan.gov/unclaimedproperty
to file new claims or check on claims electronically. Previously, claimants had to file paper claims and send documentation through the mail.
Over the last four years, Michigan Unclaimed Property has returned $400 million to owners or their heirs. Along with visiting the website, claimants can also call 517-636-5320 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays. HEARTSafe schools named
More than 200 schools were recently awarded the MI HEARTSafe School designation for the 2018-19 school year. The special designation recognizes schools that are prepared to respond to cardiac emergencies by having:
- A written medical emergency response plan and team;
- Current CPR/AED (automated external defibrillator) certification of 10 percent of staff and 50 percent of coaches, including all head varsity coaches and physical education staff;
- Accessible and maintained AEDs;
- Annual cardiac emergency response drills; and
- Pre-participation sports screening of all student athletes.
For more information about the MI HEARTSafe School program, including a list of participating schools, visit Migrc.org/miheartsafe