Biodiversity is not a dirty word

Piping Plover

Untitled, photo by Anna Lysa

Sorry to mess up your holiday week with a bit of advocacy on the behalf of Michigan’s natural environment, but yesterday via Michigan Radio I learned of the very disturbing Senate Bill 78 that’s headed to Governor Snyder for signature or veto. The bill would forbid DNR from preserving biodiversity in forests and parks:

More than 130 scientists and the state’s environmental groups are calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to veto a bill they call anti-science. The bill would forbid the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from protecting native wildlife and plants on the pure merits of protecting nature.

  • The bill would prohibit the Department of Natural Resources from managing state lands for biodiversity.
  • It would prohibit the agency from managing forests for restoration.
  • It would end work to eliminate invasive species.
  • It would strike from the law the finding that most losses of biological diversity are the result of human activity.

Read on for more, and here’s the text of Senate Bill 78. If you’re so inclined, feel free to tell Gov. Rick Snyder what you think. I know that messages to our elected officials really do make a difference.

View Anna Lysa’s photo from July of 2012 at Ludington State Park bigger and see more in her Michigan slideshow.

PS: As I read it, piping plover would not be impacted by this as the species with just 8,000 adults is federally protected. I just picked them because they’re a recognizable species that has benefitted from extensive preservation efforts, some of them in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan.

Here’s the piping plover and more of Michigan’s endangered plants and animals on Michigan in Pictures.

9 thoughts on “Biodiversity is not a dirty word

  1. I appreciate your advocacy and have sent my message. Our natural areas are a main part of what makes Michigan a special place.


  2. Am in UK and there is an attempt here to politically protect biodiversity . It’s on my blog as a reblog. Hope there could be support by petitions, social media in US. You guys have such a wonderful range of wildlife and hope you can keep it protected.


  3. Thanks for posting! We’ve already signed a petition but now we’ve written on behalf of our business, Barothy Lodge Retreat on the Pere Marquette River. This bill would make smoke come out of our ears even if our livelihood wasn’t dependent on the wildness of our 300 acres bordering a wild and scenic river and the Manistee National Forest. We witness the impact of DNR rulings up close and personal. We support moves to legislate protection even when it causes us problems to comply, (our lodges that were built in the late 1800’s are sited closer to the river than current restrictions allow, etc.) We allow no hunting on our property and have created and protected wetlands while eliminating invasive species as best we can. In other words, this issue is dear to our heart, (as it should be for everyone). We join you in fervently hoping Snyder vetoes this bill.


  4. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We will work to get this bill vetoed. Senate Bill 78 is “beyond the pale.”


  5. This is outrageous and made my blood boil when I read it. Unfortunately (or fortunately!?) I don’t live in Michigan anymore, so I doubt they would listen much to me.


  6. Thanks for posting this important information. It seems that our legislators in Lansing have lost their collective minds. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard of, and they have done some pretty bizarre things of late. I did my part, but I won’t hold my breath.


  7. I have sent my letter concerning SB 0078, but as Lynda says, “I won’t hold my breath.” Individuals such as Casperson and Booher dance to the tune of their industrial puppet-masters. I would hope that Governor Snyder would see this bill for what it is, but that is hope only.


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