Bergman's Cormorant Relief Act Passes House Committee on Natural Resources
Washington - Congressman Jack Bergman and Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop released the following statements after the House Committee on Natural Resources passed legislation to reinstate cormorant control:
"Conservation of fish and wildlife demands an accountable management program. Control of the double-crested cormorant has long been a successful endeavor between state agencies and the Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) until a court order left Michigan unable to respond to the negative effects these migratory birds have on our fish populations. H.R. 6302 will temporarily reinstate cormorant depredation orders for both free-swimming fish and aquaculture facilities. This will allow states to resume necessary species management while FWS works to craft new regulations to control the cormorant population," said Bergman
Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) stated, "Livelihoods and local economies are put in jeopardy when federal and state wildlife managers are prohibited from effectively managing species. This bill helps restore an ecological balance that hasn’t existed in the Great Lakes region for quite some time. I’m thankful for Rep. Bergman’s willingness to tackle this issue and for hosting a recent informative field hearing. I look forward to continuing our work together to move this bill through Congress."
After H.R. 6302 passed the Natural Resources Committee, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh stated, "Properly controlling cormorant populations is an important aspect of natural resource management, especially in maintaining quality fisheries. We appreciate Congressman Bergman’s leadership in ensuring that state natural resource agencies will be able to manage cormorants.”
On June 11th, Rep. Bergman and Rep. Westerman held a Natural Resources field hearing in Alpena, highlighting the need for cormorant management. Based on a 2016 court order, Michigan, along with 23 other states are prohibited from controlling these invasive birds, leading to a troubling situation for our Great Lakes fisheries and many inland lakes throughout the state.