Wildlife campaign is moving the needle

The Wildlife Council met Monday in Cadillac.

CADILLAC — The "Here. For Generations" campaign spotlighting Michigan's wildlife is working, according to the marketing agency that runs it.

The Michigan Wildlife Council met Monday at the Carl T. Johnson for one of the council's regular meetings. Much of the meeting was spent on Güd Marketing's campaign progress.

Most Michiganders approve of hunting and fishing, about 80 percent, which is higher than the national average, Chelsea Maupin, research manager for Güd Marketing, explained to the council.

But fewer people understand how wildlife management is funded. The campaign aims to fix that.

They've started by moving the needle on how many people believe wildlife management is necessary. In 2015, when the the campaign surveyed people, about 60 percent weren't sure. Now, it's more like 50 percent know that it is, Maupin told the Cadillac News.

This year, the campaign is trying to get people to understand how wildlife management is funded. People expect that their tax dollars are paying for a lot of it, but it's not even close.

The vast majority of the funds come from hunting and fishing licenses.

If you haven't heard of the campaign, it's because Northern Michigan residents aren't the targets. They already value hunting, fishing and wildlife management.

It's the downstaters who live in the population centers that the campaign aims to educate. People in southeast and southwest Michigan.

That's where attitudes can change.

“Those are the audiences we’re targeting based on how we want to affect people,‘ said Matt Pedigo, chair of the Wildlife Council, "which is entrusted with educating the public about the importance of wildlife conservation and its role in preserving Michigan’s great outdoor heritage for future generations," its website states.