It looks like a bill aimed at dropping a 2009 sunset on a falconry law is getting general support. Getting rid of the sunset provision means that falconers in Michigan can continue to trap birds from the wild under provisions of the law. This is especially important for apprentices, who are barred from using captive-bred birds during their apprenticeship here in Michigan.
In general, statements from Audubon Society representative Thomas Funke were supportive of the bill and falconers. Perhaps the following was not intentional on Funke’s part:
Funke agreed, “Today, falconers are committed to the conservation of their species.”
The use of the qualifier “today” sends the wrong message. Falconers were in the forefront of organizing conservation efforts for falcon populations pushed to the brink of extinction by indiscriminate pesticide use, and continue to be conservation-minded. I’m a bit sensitive on such usage coming from other conservation groups who should be allies, for there is a history there of short-changing falconers on the credit for the recovery of raptor populations, even though falconers contributed their time, money, effort, and often their own birds to captive breeding programs right from the start of the problem being noticed.