Both the state chapter of MWTHA and the Pere Marquette Chapter were affiliated members of MUCC. They never asked for our input into their decision. They created an impossible situation for us. Our members are scattered throughout Michigan, with a few from other states. We would have to determine if each of our members received MUCC membership through another organization. We have kept our membership dues at $10, which just covers our expenses such as the cost of publishing Michigan Turkey Tracks and mailing them twice a year, the expense of hiring a CPA for filing our income tax statement with the IRS, etc. We simply can not afford to give MUCC half of our dues. By the time they made their final decision we did not have enough time to either raise the dues or notify our members. There was some talk from MUCC that perhaps a club could pay a flat fee for affiliation but have no vote on resolutions at convention.
Laurie Smith. our state chapter secretary treasurer is a non paid (as are all of our members) volunteer who is responsible for keeping our membership up to date, sending out reminder notices, collecting dues, keeping the finances up to date and is responsible for complying with the state and federal governments, among other duties. MUCC created an impossible situation for Laurie.
At a Pere Marquette Chapter meeting this past winter the members present voted unanimously to not renew the membership to MUCC. At the February meeting of the chapters (board meeting) it was a unanimous vote not to renew membership to MUCC for the state chapter (as a personal note, four conservation organizations that I hold a membership in are leaving MUCC). It has been estimated that MUCC is going to lose somewhere around 30 percent of their clubs.
I attended the MUCC June convention. Apparently they have reconsidered. Statewide organizations could pay a flat membership fee of around $250. After a hour debate it was voted that statewide clubs would have two votes at convention. If MUCC contacts us with a proposal before our August board meeting it can be discussed again. In the meantime our members can individually join MUCC and receive the magazine.
At the convention there was some thoughtful deliberation on some of the issues on hand. But true to form I couldn’t believe what I was hearing by some of the delegates as they spoke on resolutions. That fast growing organization among our fellow hunters and fishermen is still alive and well. It is called AISI – that stands for Apathy, Ignorance and Self Interest.
We probably should still stay involved to keep track of any issue that affects us. We do not have the resources to take on a statewide issue detrimental to our natural resources and hunting. Collectively we have an opportunity to do so if we can get by all of the posturing.