By Jessica Mathews/

Hunters and anglers in Michigan and other states say they’re ready to work with the new administration and new Congress on key conservation issues.

Director of Sporting Advocacy with the National Wildlife Federation Aaron Kindle says sportsmen and sportswomen have unique insights on conservation. He explains they see firsthand the impacts of wildlife and habitat management, as well as the effects of climate change. Kindle said "Not very many people get up at four in the morning and go quietly into the woods and experience those changes, and experience what's going on out there. And there's people out who’ve been hunting or fishing in the same area for 40 years. That really gives you a truly inside view of what's going on in that landscape."

Kindle recently organized a virtual summit with hunting and conservation groups from across the country to develop a roadmap of priorities for 2021. They discussed climate change, public lands management and protecting endangered species through the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act. It would provide funding for state-level actions to conserve wildlife and habitat.

Conservation groups in Michigan are also focused on identifying strategies to address Asian carp and better manage chronic wasting disease among deer in 2021.

Michigan United Conservation Clubs is described as the largest statewide conservation organization in the nation. Founded in 1937, its mission is to unite citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan's natural resources and outdoor heritage. Executive Director Amy Trotter says addressing Chronic Wasting Disease among the deer population is a major priority for hunters in Michigan. She says the federal government could offer funding and research to develop a better management approach. Trotter says "Anything that affects deer in our state is going to have a bottom-line impact on all fish and wildlife management. So, it’s a top priority to not let it diminish our hunting heritage in our state."

Trotter added other important conservation issues are continuing to work to address the threat of Asian carp in the Great Lakes, and maintaining the recent federal decision that removed wolves from the list of endangered species.

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