MEC statement on Senate rejection of science educator for NRC appointment

Today, the Michigan Senate voted 20-16 to reject Anna Mitterling’s appointment to the Natural Resources Commission.

Michigan Environmental Council and Michigan Trout Unlimited issued the following statement in response:

“Today, Senate leadership voted down a very well-qualified appointee to the Natural Resources Commission reputedly because she uses sound science to guide her policy decisions,” said Michigan Environmental Council President and CEO Conan Smith. “If Michigan is to successfully manage the crises facing our deer and other game populations -- threats such as chronic wasting disease, habitat loss, and a changing climate -- it is simply unacceptable to ignore scientific principles in favor of emotion and politics. We must use the best research available to guide our decisions so that our conservation heritage is protected.”

“Anna Mitterling has exactly the qualities we should be looking for in NRC appointments -- she is an active sportswoman, has a graduate degree in Fisheries & Wildlife, teaches environmental science at the college level, is a mother, a young professional, and brings a fresh perspective from a generation that has seen declines in participation in hunting and fishing,” said Dr. Bryan Burroughs, Executive Director of Michigan Trout Unlimited. “Instead of embracing a commissioner who uses sound science, is qualified to know what that means, and represents the new face of conservation in Michigan, Senate Republicans embroiled her in a political dispute over a different appointee and different issues, and chose to vote down this well-qualified woman.”  

Michigan citizens have demanded, in law, that our fisheries and wildlife be scientifically managed.  Today, a large and shameful dose of politics was inserted into that process, and a well-qualified citizen was rejected from volunteer service for purely political reasons.

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