Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
SAULT STE. MARIE, MICHIGAN - Despite a letter of opposition to allow moose hunting from the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians' Inland Conservation Committee, the Moose Hunting Advisory Council recommended to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to allow it on Thursday.
“The Sault Tribe is not in agreement with the state of Michigan concerning the appropriateness of a moose hunt,”
said Joe Eitrem, Sault Tribe chairman.
"Citing the small population with a slow growth rate with low pregnancy rates, a great deal of uncertainty in moose population estimates and a state's decision weighing too heavily on policy considerations over significant biological concerns, the Inland Conservation Committee voted to oppose a moose hunt at this time," the Tribe's official position was stated in a news release, dated September 6.
The Moose Hunting Advisory Council, which was created through legislation in December 2010, was established to examine the biological and economic implications of establishing a moose hunt in Michigan. They were charged with developing a report to be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources and ultimately the Michigan Legislature.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources met in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday where the Moose Hunting Advisory Committee made its recommendation in a report.
Specific recommendations in the Moose Hunting Advisory Council's report include:
The final decision to move forward with establishing a moose hunt, and what that hunting season structure would entail, would be subject to formal consultation with affected tribal governments and Department of Natural Resources review.
Before any final action is taken by the NRC, a formal proposal would be presented for public comment.
In 1985 and 1987, 59 moose were trans-located by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada, to northwest Marquette County, with the long term goal of a self sustaining population of free ranging moose. A January 2011 survey indicated approximately 433 moose in Marquette, Baraga and northern Iron counties, and an estimated total of approximately 500 animals across the entire mainland of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Four years ago, the State of Michigan entered into an agreement with five of the twelve federally recognized Michigan Indian tribes in northern Michigan, including Sault Ste. Marie Tribe, called the 2007 Inland Consent Decree. The agreement takes into consideration hunting and fishing rights that were protected under Treaty of 1836.
Under the 2007 Inland Consent Decree, the state cannot hold a moose hunt with the five tribes' consent.
"We look forward to the State of Michigan adhering to the terms of the 2007 Inland Consent Decree and beginning consultation with the State and each of the affected tribes," a Sault Ste. Marie tribal spokesperson emailed the Native News Network on Friday afternoon when asked for comment on Thursdayâ€™s recommendation by the Moose Hunting Advisory Council.
posted September 17, 2011 7:20 am edt
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