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MUCC to file lawsuit in response to motorboat prohibition

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https://mucc.org/mucc-to-file-lawsuit-in-response-to-motorboat-prohibition/

 

MUCC to file lawsuit in response to motorboat prohibition

By Nick Green | April 16, 2020 | 0 

Over the past six days, Michigan United Conservation Clubs has received hundreds of communications from members, the angling community and citizens throughout Michigan. These communications have conveyed concern over the recent Executive Order (EO) 2020-42 and its subsequent interpretation. 

First and foremost, MUCC is very sensitive to the public health crisis facing Michiganders. We have received a number of communications from those within our MUCC family who are being directly affected by this novel virus. The decisions that follow were not taken lightly, and this has weighed heavily on those you have chosen to represent you.

Two overwhelming issues emerged from member communications:

  1. The interpretation, and subsequent enforcement, that motorboating is not allowed per the “Frequently Asked Questions” sections of the Michigan DNR and governor’s websites. 
  2. The language surrounding shooting ranges and how that applies to sportsmen’s clubs throughout the state. It is unclear whether they are allowed to remain open, as most are volunteer-based and not staffed. In the governor’s FAQs, the shooting range issue is addressed, which does not take into account the vast majority of ranges owned and operated by MUCC-affiliated rod and gun clubs. We recommend taking this issue up with local law enforcement based on your individual facility’s operations to determine rules and procedures for safe outdoor recreation and will follow up directly with our affiliate club presidents and primary contacts with additional information. 

On Tuesday, MUCC consulted with an attorney to discuss if legal action was appropriate. The MUCC Executive Board convened Wednesday night to receive and review all available options to represent our clubs and members. MUCC retained Aaron Phelps, a partner with Varnum LLP based in Grand Rapids, for legal representation as it relates to the application of the EO to motorized boating.

The MUCC Executive Board convened again on Thursday afternoon to make a final decision regarding the organization’s actions moving forward. The board heard summaries from MUCC’s lobbying firm, McAlvey, Merchant and Associates, and Phelps regarding political and legal options.

In a 14 to 1 vote, with one board member absent, the MUCC Executive Board voted to file a lawsuit challenging Executive Order 2020-42 as applied to motorized boating. The complaint is expected to be filed soon.

A grassroots fundraiser has been initiated. Contributions of any amount you can give will be imperative to our success in protecting anglers and our outdoor heritage. Click here to help the cause.

This morning, a letter was sent to Gov. Whitmer expressing our concerns with EO 2020-42. Included in that communication was DNR Director Dan Eichinger, Attorney General Dana Nessel, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, House Minority Leader Christine Greig and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich.

MUCC and its members fully understand the risks that areas like the Detroit River, Tippy Dam and Saginaw Bay boat launches have posed. In the spring, these areas are flooded with anglers from all over Michigan and out of state. We support measures to mitigate risks in these highly-frequented locations. However, these are only a few small examples of the thousands of public and private accesses we have throughout Michigan that are infrequently visited by people with motorboats and could be vital to Michiganders’ mental health and wellbeing during this time.

We can not stress enough our empathy for those of you who have been impacted by the novel coronavirus. You are in our thoughts, and united we shall stand. 

Since 1937, Michigan United Conservation Clubs has united citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage. It has, and always will be, our duty to provide hunters and anglers a voice in Michigan. We hope you understand that unanimous consensus is almost impossible. 

MUCC staff and leadership have been faced with difficult decisions about how to represent you in the short-term while having long-term strategies in mind. Since our founding, we have worked through both strained and prosperous relationships with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Michigan Legislature, the governor’s office and the Natural Resources Commission. This issue will not be an exception.

Michigan anglers and recreational boaters are entitled to clear and unambiguous rules, and they should not be subject to criminal penalties based on arbitrary interpretations of a unilateral order in an FAQ.

MUCC recommends anglers abide by all social distancing protocols and health best-practices per the Center for Disease Control while recreating.

MUCC has been defending your rights to hunt, fish and trap since 1937. Click here to join today.

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mental health and well-being...what a crock....i thought we fishermen were tougher that that... your opposition to public health regulations in a time of crisis for the sake of getting out on the water a few weeks earlier is misguided.  Grow a pair and take one for the team.  We are not going to get PTSD from waiting a few weeks.   I agree that the governors order is not well drafted but our constitutional rights are not being trampled upon in this situation.  We look like a pack of whiny self entitled snowflakes.  petition the governor if you must, or better yet try to see the bigger picture and wait for this virus to run it course. 

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14 hours ago, Duke63 said:

mental health and well-being...what a crock....i thought we fishermen were tougher that that... your opposition to public health regulations in a time of crisis for the sake of getting out on the water a few weeks earlier is misguided.  Grow a pair and take one for the team.  We are not going to get PTSD from waiting a few weeks.   I agree that the governors order is not well drafted but our constitutional rights are not being trampled upon in this situation.  We look like a pack of whiny self entitled snowflakes.  petition the governor if you must, or better yet try to see the bigger picture and wait for this virus to run it course. 

Its referring to all Americans not just fishermen and the attack on our rights far outweighs fishing. You are missing the suffering this is causing in many other ways than illness. This is one way to draw a line in the sand against government overreach which history and current world events show always ends up badly. Do you not believe poverty has a huge impact on many including health wise? Be glad if you can weather the storm well because many can't. And if you believe all the government says about this and that they are not prone to "never let a crises go to waste" well??? As of now its looking like less may die from this than the 2018 flu. Car accidents??? should we to let people ever drive again?

PS I'm NOT against safe measures like stay at home as much as possible especially if vulnerable, masks, social distancing, washing. All good to practice right now. 

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Duke 63 Do you think following the Governors orders is going to eliminate the virus in MI?  How long will that take?  Why is it OK for liquor stores, pot shops and lottery tickets to be open and available for sale attracting people out into the public for these non essential trips, is that going to help eliminate the virus?  Why is ok for someone from Chicago or any other state to travel to the 2nd home in Michigan but MI residents can't, is that going to stop the virus? My elderly neighbor's heart valve replacement surgery is prohibited but abortions are legal and are "life saving" according to Whitmer. That makes a lot of sense.  If I take my immediate family that lives in my house on my boat, pack our own ice and food like we always do, how is that going to spread the virus? But it's OK to load them up on a sailboat and go out on Lk Michigan. Sounds like the Green New Deal to me instead of Coronavirus protection. People are pushing back because Whitmer's rules are over the top, unfair and lack common sense. 

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mental health and well-being...what a crock....i thought we fishermen were tougher that that... your opposition to public health regulations in a time of crisis for the sake of getting out on the water a few weeks earlier is misguided.  Grow a pair and take one for the team.  We are not going to get PTSD from waiting a few weeks.   I agree that the governors order is not well drafted but our constitutional rights are not being trampled upon in this situation.  We look like a pack of whiny self entitled snowflakes.  petition the governor if you must, or better yet try to see the bigger picture and wait for this virus to run it course. 


Please explain with some logic why someone can go out on a canoe, sailboat, kayak, rowboat, etc. but not a motorboat. Not defensive rhetoric. Logic. I’ll wait.


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I use the same launches to launch my kayak as my 14'.  Same tow vehicle that still has 5/8 of a tank since March and I have 20 gallons in the barn to back it up.

 

I take the same vehicle to the same launch and launch my canoe / kayak / boat.

 

Only when I reach back and start the outboard do I break the law.

 

Before the updated EO I'd been out either solo or with my family four times.

 

If you think I'm blowing this off, my wife is the sole caretaker of her 84 and 81 year old parents.  Of all her sisters, she is the only one going in their house.  So i don't do anything without clearing it with the wife.  And even she thinks this order is BS.

 

Well, enough of that.  I'm the janitor at my church and need to go mow the lawn.  Wait, can't do that either.

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More fun.  I can't go to my cottage up north and take the kayak out of the garage and take it out on the lake via my private dock.

I can put my kayak in my truck and drive to the launch down the road from my place up north and launch using the public dock.

 

I can't drive to my cottage up north to do anything.  I have a barn on ten acres across the way from the cottage.  I can drive there as it's not a residence.  I can drive to the barn, then the cottage, then the barn, then home, as it's not between residences.  

 

 

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What is over the top and lacking in common sense is people protesting in close proximity to one another on the steps of the capital building.  This is not some vast conspiracy cooked up by the government to deprive people of their constitutional rights.  It's an emergency safety measure.   I guess it's up to the individual whether they want to flaunt an order intended to protect the public and thereby enhance the risk of exposing themselves and others to the virus , but I view such behavior as selfish, short sighted and foolish.  This pandemic is affecting us all.  I am currently laid off due to the restrictions which are now in effect.  The goal is to open up as the situation improves.  No one and I mean NO ONE wants these restrictions to go on indefinitely and without good cause but it would be foolish and premature to lift them until we have an accurate picture of the infection rate and the likely mortality rate.  Sure you may view aspects of the order as unfair.  It's not fair that some people die of preventable disease of lose their employment though no fault of their own or that our elected officials and corporations make bank on the backs of taxpayers while mom and pop businesses get nothing.  If you want to complain, complain about the real inequities in the system, not about having your fishing season shortened. 

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It’s that “it’s no worse that the flu” crowd why they banned motor boats. The majority of people would follow the previous EO that allowed motor boating but the people in that crowd are the ones that minimize it and ruin it for everyone. Tippy and the Detroit River are perfect examples. Thank those people’s actions for why you can’t go fishing on a boat with an engine with people from your household. They should have immediately fined these people 1k and took their license for a year. They would have only needed to do this a couple of times and it would have made the news and that would have put an end to it. But they gave warnings, well to these hard heads, you have to take action as warning or the threat of one means nothing so they continue and here we are today.

Once the fishing starts to heat up on Lake Michigan, the same selfish mindset people will be packing the launches with their friends and posting group pics on social media bragging.

Wake up people, they didn’t shut down pretty much every major economy in the world for no reason. Whitmer has already indicated that she will likely ease some restrictions on May 1st. If boating is one of them, PLEASE follow the applicable guidelines so everyone can look forward to something this summer. If they lift restrictions and there is a spike in cases, they will likely shut everything down for summer.




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What is over the top and lacking in common sense is people protesting in close proximity to one another on the steps of the capital building.  This is not some vast conspiracy cooked up by the government to deprive people of their constitutional rights.  It's an emergency safety measure.   I guess it's up to the individual whether they want to flaunt an order intended to protect the public and thereby enhance the risk of exposing themselves and others to the virus , but I view such behavior as selfish, short sighted and foolish.  This pandemic is affecting us all.  I am currently laid off due to the restrictions which are now in effect.  The goal is to open up as the situation improves.  No one and I mean NO ONE wants these restrictions to go on indefinitely and without good cause but it would be foolish and premature to lift them until we have an accurate picture of the infection rate and the likely mortality rate.  Sure you may view aspects of the order as unfair.  It's not fair that some people die of preventable disease of lose their employment though no fault of their own or that our elected officials and corporations make bank on the backs of taxpayers while mom and pop businesses get nothing.  If you want to complain, complain about the real inequities in the system, not about having your fishing season shortened. 


Still no logic to explain why a motorboat is prohibited, but no power is acceptable. Can’t make that argument can you?


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It’s that “it’s no worse that the flu” crowd why they banned motor boats. The majority of people would follow the previous EO that allowed motor boating but the people in that crowd are the ones that minimize it and ruin it for everyone. Tippy and the Detroit River are perfect examples. Thank those people’s actions for why you can’t go fishing on a boat with an engine with people from your household. They should have immediately fined these people 1k and took their license for a year. They would have only needed to do this a couple of times and it would have made the news and that would have put an end to it. But they gave warnings, well to these hard heads, you have to take action as warning or the threat of one means nothing so they continue and here we are today.

 

Once the fishing starts to heat up on Lake Michigan, the same selfish mindset people will be packing the launches with their friends and posting group pics on social media bragging.

 

Wake up people, they didn’t shut down pretty much every major economy in the world for no reason. Whitmer has already indicated that she will likely ease some restrictions on May 1st. If boating is one of them, PLEASE follow the applicable guidelines so everyone can look forward to something this summer. If they lift restrictions and there is a spike in cases, they will likely shut everything down for summer.

 

 

 

 

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You must be a Whitmer supporter. The people at Tippy were fishing from the shore. ZERO to do with motors.

 

 

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I just wish the order would have shut down the major DNR launches until May 1st.  That would have prevented many of the large congregation of people at the launches, and would still allow me to use my boats other places.  Or legally use our 14-ft row boat with an electric trolling motor.

In other news - at least the time off has allowed me to actually get the boat ready properly instead of piling boxes and boxes of crap in the front of the boat because I don't know where anything is!

My question now is, are we going to see a massive "launch your boat" civil disobedience protest if the boating prohibition is extended?

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I'll be there.

April and November are my peak fishing months.

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Closing all the docks because some didn't abide by the rules makes as much sense as closing all the roads because some disobey the speed laws. I hope we have not suck so low as to punish all for the crime of a few. Plus I was on the Detroit River this spring using a busy launch and there were no crowds (gathered together). Yes its busy but guys are in their car or boat and the dnr can easily deal with too many in a boat. I hope also that people are not relying on the government or the media for the latest and best info. They said the quarantine was to "flatten the curve" so not to overwhelm the hospitals. Well they laid off most people I know including my sister. As of Last Tuesday Michigan was only using just under half of their ventilators and even NY with all their belly aching and screaming to the feds for more has a surplus and have sent some to other states. This is a control issue, a constitutional issue, and a political issue now along with the health. If we don't hold to our freedoms and rights we will face a future much worse than a CCP virus.

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This may clarify a lot of things , go ahead and use your boats , you will most likely have to go to court to a case they will most likely be thrown out.

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Well, we're "allowed" back on the water now!  I'll be out Monday unless I get more work for next week.

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