A Must Read: Environmentalists oppose bill that would reduce Michigan biodiversity

Environmentalists oppose plan passed by Senate limiting DNR’s abilitybilde to manage land

  • By Gary Heinlein and Jim Lynch
  • The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan environmentalists are upset over a Republican lawmaker’s bill to curtail the state’s land management powers, claiming it’s based on conspiracy theories about the United Nations.

Legislation by state Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, would prevent the Department of Natural Resources from classifying public tracts “for the purpose of achieving or maintaining biological diversity.” The proposal eliminates requirements the DNR promote forest restoration or continue giving special protection to unusual plants and animals.

Casperson said the legislation is an effort to rein in bureaucratic overreach, while acknowledging he is aware of a 1992 U.N. resolution on sustainable development that some conservatives claim could reduce property rights.

The bill passed the Senate and is under House discussion. This dismays opponents, who say it destroys the underpinnings of Michigan
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