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From the Journal of the Senate,

March 25, 1915 (pp. 630)

To the President of the Senate:

Sir: I herewith return without approval

Senate bill No. 174 (file No. 124, enrolled No. 6), entitled

A bill to provide for the transfer of powers and duties of the State Game, Fish and Forestry Warden to the Public Domain Commission in relation thereto, and to repeal all acts, or parts of acts, which conflict therewith.

Are the duties of the State Game, Fish, and Forestry Warden and the duties of the Public Domain Commission, by their very nature, so interrelated, that the work of the two departments is duplicated? If the work is so interrelated, why has the Public Domain Commission failed to ask for this transfer,- why does the Public Domain Commission disapprove of the transfer? I find no demand on the part of the citizens in any part of the State for this transfer.

The duties of the State Game and Forestry Warden are essentially police duties and apply to all parts of the State. The duties of the Public Domain Commission are constructive, creative, scientific and apply chiefly to the newer sections of the State. In the two departments there is no harmony in their ideals, no uniformity in their methods of work and no similarity in the qualifications necessary for successfully administering their respective duties. The inevitable result will be an increase in expenditures, a decrease in efficiency and a marked diminution in the State-wide influence of both departments. There is, therefore, no logical reason for combining the two departments.

The experience of other states is worthy of consideration. A writer in a recent issue of American Forestry magazine says: "Such plans have failed of effectiveness under trial, and tend to loss of efficiency and interest in forestry on the part of the Commission." All of the New England States have separate commissions for forestry service, together with New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Idaho, Montana, Washington and California. Alabama, after eight years' trail of combining the two departments, is now considering a separation; likewise Texas. Reference is frequently made to New York; but in this state the two classes of work maintain entirely separate sets of wardens overlapping in the same territory. In other words, New York has never attempted to combine the field work of the Fish and Game Wardens with that of the Forest and Fire Wardens. Governor Whitman in his recent message to the Legislature says: 'The work of the divisions of the Forestry and of the Fish and Game must be kept entirely separate.'

This bill was rushed through both Houses without adequate discussion. If this act was "necessary for the preservation of public peace, health or safety" and given immediate effect, why this absence of discussion? I object to this act because I believe it is injurious to the best interests of the State of Michigan.

Very truly yours,

Woodbridge N.Ferris


Source: Fuller, George, editor. Messages of the Governors of Michigan. Volume IV. (Lansing, Michigan: Michigan Historical Commission, 1927), 681-682.


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