Conservation and Environmental Issues

Sandhill Crane Hunting in Michigan - Update

Legislative Update & Excellent News for Sandhill Cranes!

At the May 10, 2018, meeting of the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) in Traverse City, advocates for Sandhill Cranes were assured that the DNR and the NRC have no current plans to add Sandhill Cranes to the game species list or to open a recreational hunting season on them.

The Songbird Protection Coalition wrote, "While we would have preferred that these assurances had been advanced during the public portion of the NRC meeting, they were delivered in front of a number of our supporters. Therefore, we will trust that the NRC and DNR representatives made them in good faith."

DNR Director Keith Creagh echoed what was said in one-on-one meetings held prior to the NRC meeting by stating that the DNR has no intention of initiating the process to seek approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to open a Sandhill Crane hunting season.

Michigan Audubon would like to thank everyone who made their voices heard by contacting representatives, attending NRC meetings, sharing their opinions through social media, and invested their opinions, time, and more to protecting these birds. Special thanks to the Songbird Protection Coalition for being so proactive on this issue and helping to lead the way to a positive outcome for Sandhill Cranes!

However, Mourning Doves could be a different story

Read the following excerpts from Julie Baker, Director of the Michigan Songbird Protection Coalition

The Michigan legislature could introduce a bill that repeals the current law prohibiting the NRC from designating mourning doves as a game species so that they can be shot for recreation. This prohibition can be found in the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, in section 324.40110, (1)(c). or,

The Michigan legislature could introduce a bill that simply designates the mourning dove as a game species, so that the NRC can then authorize a shooting season on them. Note: In 2006, Michigan voters overwhelmingly rejected a law designating mourning doves as a game species, with all 83 counties voting NO. However, since most legislators who were in office at the time have now termed out, the current legislature may have little memory or regard for that citizen mandate on the issue 12 years ago.

The Michigan legislature is scheduled to begin its summer break on June 22, during which it will meet only one day in July and one day in August, so it is unlikely that such an action will be taken until the legislature returns to session on September 5. However, we will continue to monitor all legislature activity and will keep you informed if any mourning dove-related bills come up.

Links to Articles of Interest

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14-year-long oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Climate Change: It’s a Bird Issue

Recent Attacks on the Endangered Species Act Are a Boon for Industry

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040

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California Can Save the Amazon

Is Recycling in Jeopardy???


To protect and promote Nature and the Environment, with emphasis on birds. Our primary focus is local, with hands-on involvement in local places, projects and issues. For areas farther away, our efforts may be limited to letter writing. We seek to stay abreast of issues and inform the general membership on current conservation issues of importance, from local to worldwide.


The views and opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the officers and members of the Grand Rapids Audubon Club. We only provide this information to the public for its consideration.