Senator Tom Casperson is mad as a hornet because his attempts to allow hunting of Wolves in Michigan is being opposed by many people. Thousands of folks, both Tribal and non-Tribal, went out in the cold weather, sat at tables in bookstores and conventions and coffee shops and pet stores, collecting signatures so that the voters of Michigan would have a say in whether Wolves are hunted here. The Wolf hunt was threatened. So Casperson crafted a bill that would essentially inoculate any listing of game animals from a public referendum, in other words, we would lose our voice. Do you love Sandhill Cranes? Mourning doves? Virginia Rails, a pretty marsh bird that I hear often in the wild rice beds? They may be next on the list of species that people can kill. And you won't be able to do a damn thing about it. The power would lie solely with the Natural Resource Commission, appointed by the Governor.
What Casperson hasn't thought about is what would happen if the Natural Resources Commission might someday be composed exclusively of anti-hunters. What a day that would be! They might say "No, no, no, no hunting season on any animals, and the people of the State of Michigan would not have any way to change that. Sorry, no hunting folks. Don't care about what you think or want. Or what science says. Nope. We have the Powah!
I have been hearing from so many people that they are tired and defeated. The Republican take over of Michigan government (and that is on the voters for putting them there) has resulted in a systematic disintegration of the democratic process. Look it up, I am not going to into all the details and examples here (although I could). They have also waged a war on our environment. You can look that up, too. Forget the national and international war on Mother Earth (Keystone Pipeline, oil spills, whaling, climate change, continuous war, etc). Our lawmakers in Michigan are having a hay day. Like teenagers turned loose with platinum credit cards in a mall.
We who live in Michigan are blessed. Where else can you find lakes, rivers, streams, mountains, sand dunes, prairies, bogs, fens, alvars, islands, Oak/Hickory and Beech/Maple forests, marshes, and of course the Great Lakes? Wild rice and maple sugar? Morels and whitefish? Trout and venison? We share a home with Bears, Wolves, Moose, Elk, Deer, Cougars, Raccoons, Otters, Weasels, Skunks, Squirrels, Mice and Voles, Chipmunks, Opossums, hundreds of Birds, and Fish and Insects. Orchids and Pine Trees and Cedar Trees and Maple Trees. All in our backyard! Truly, where else can you have all this beauty and a rich, diverse set of neighbors? Only in Michigan.
So why, then, do we not get angry when lawmakers wage war on all that we hold Sacred about Michigan? Why do we not stand up and form armies to protect all these things that are our home? Why do we not stand up to our government and say NO? Even if we feel that there is nothing we can do, we are wrong. There is always something. Run for an office. Actively participate with groups that work to protect the environment and democracy. Run for an office. Vote. Did I mention run for office?
I love Michigan. I love all the Beings that share this land and air and water with me. I will never stop fighting to protect this place and these friends. I will never stop fighting for your right to have a voice, for our rights of Democracy, for equality and fairness for all, for understanding and compassion, for accountability.
Why? Because I care.