About Us

ABOUT US

The Michigan Wildlife Council 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.

Ensuring our forests, waters and wildlife are clean, healthy and support diverse wildlife is important to our families and outdoor traditions, our economy and our overall enjoyment of the outdoors.

All people of Michigan enjoy the state’s beautiful forests, waters and wildlife, which is why we take great care to protect and enhance these valuable assets. The Michigan Wildlife Council is dedicated to increasing public knowledge about how wildlife and Michigan’s outdoors are managed and funded so that we can continue to enjoy them as we do today.

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ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUNCIL

The council is a governor-appointed, nine-member public body established by Michigan Public Act No. 246 of 2013. The legislation updated the hunting and fishing license fee structure and requires the state Department of Natural Resources to use $1 from the sale of every license to fund the Michigan Wildlife Council public education campaign. The $1 share of each license sale generates approximately $1.6 million annually in revenue.

MICHIGAN WILDLIFE COUNCIL MEMBERS

The nine members of the Michigan Wildlife Council are located in all parts of the state and represent a wide range of residents, but they share a common vision when it involves Michigan’s cherished outdoor traditions – ensuring they’re here for generations. Council members — appointed by the governor and subject to the advice and consent of the Michigan Senate — are entrusted with educating the public about the importance of conserving and managing our forests, waters and wildlife.

Nick Buggia

Nick Buggia

Chair

TERM ENDS 3.31.2022

Nick Buggia, of Mayville, is the Upper Midwestern States manager for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF). He works closely with state legislators and governors across the Midwest to promote scientific-based conservation policy. He has experience working in Michigan’s executive branch and in the Michigan Senate, where he spent the majority of his time focusing on natural resources policy. A native of Mayville, Michigan, Nick is an avid outdoorsman. On the council, he represents rural areas of the state whose economies are substantially impacted by hunting and fishing.

Jeffery Poet

Jeffery Poet

Vice Chair

TERM ENDS 3.31.2021

Jeffery Poet, of Clare, has literally made the outdoors his business. Poet is president of Jay’s Sporting Goods Inc. in Clare and Gaylord, where he has participated in the growth of the company since its inception. Poet, who earned his associate degree in business management from Northwood University, represents businesses that are substantially impacted by hunting and fishing.

Kristin Phillips

Kristin Phillips

Treasurer

Kristin Phillips, of Lansing, has over 15 years of experience in marketing and communications. She has been chief of the DNR Marketing & Outreach Division since October 2013. Prior to joining the DNR, Kristin worked in the department of History, Arts & Libraries, marketing and managing the business aspects of Michigan History magazine. She also helped to launch and deliver Michigan History for Kids magazine to every school in Michigan.

Photo of Matt Pedigo, seen from the shoulders up

Matt Pedigo

TERM ENDS 3.31.2021

Matt Pedigo, of Howell, is a mechanical engineer for General Motors. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Kettering University in Flint. For the Michigan Wildlife Council, he serves as a voice for individuals who have purchased hunting or fishing licenses in the state at least once during each of the past three years.

Beth Gruden

Beth Gruden

TERM ENDS 3.31.2022

Beth Gruden, of Perrinton, who represents Michigan’s agricultural producers on the Michigan Wildlife Council, is the owner of Blue Wing Consulting, LLC, a firm specializing in nutrient management and compliance for livestock farms. She is a certified plan writer for the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Gruden has a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from Michigan State University and currently resides in Perrinton, Michigan.

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Henry Stancato

TERM ENDS 3.31.2021

Henry Stancato, of Detroit, is a member of Stancato, Tragge, Wells, PLLC in Detroit, where he has practiced law for more than 35 years. Stancato, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University and a law degree from Wayne State University, has served as a member of Youthville Detroit and New Center Community Mental Health Services. An avid angler, he represents individuals who have purchased hunting or fishing licenses in Michigan at least once during each of the past three years.

Jason Garvon

TERM ENDS 3.31.2024

Jason Garvon, of Brimley, is a Professor of Biology at Lake Superior State University. He is a member of Ducks Unlimited, advisor to the LSSU Student Chapter of DU, and former member of the MDNR eastern Upper Peninsula Citizens Advisory Council. He holds a Ph.D. in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M / Texas A&M-Kingsville. Dr. Garvon is appointed to represent individuals who have purchased hunting or fishing licenses in this state on a regular basis, at least once during each of the last 3 years, and are nominated by statewide sportsmen organizations.

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T. Elliot Shafer

TERM ENDS 3.31.2022

T. Elliot Shafer, of Grosse Point Woods, is the vice president of commercial banking for TCF Bank. He is a member of The Ruffed Grouse Society, Pheasants Forever Initiative, Ducks Unlimited, Huntsman Hunt Club, and the Northland Sportsman’s Club. He holds a Bachelor of Business Studies in Finance from Wayne State University. Mr. Shafer is appointed to represent an individual with a media or marketing background, who is not an employee of the department.

Edgar Roy

Edgar Roy

TERM ENDS 3.31.2024

Edgar Roy, of Traverse City, is an attorney with Kuhn, Rogers, PLC. Previously, he practiced with Brandt, Fisher, Alward and Roy, PC. Roy holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a law degree from the University of Detroit Law School. On the council, he represents individuals who have purchased hunting or fishing licenses in Michigan at least once during each of the past three years.

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Here. For Generations.