Coalition to Stop Michigan Wolf Hunt Finds Overwhelming Public Support While Collecting Signatures for Ballot
LANSING, Mich. – Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a coalition working to place a referendum on the November 2014 ballot, has gathered more than 100,000 signatures to overturn a law allowing hunting of Michigan’s small wolf population. With three weeks remaining before the state-mandated March 27 deadline to gather signatures for the 2014 ballot, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is well within reach of its goal of 225,000 signatures.
“Our 2,189-volunteer signature gatherers report an overwhelmingly positive response from Michigan voters who don’t want to see wolves hunted as trophies,” said Jill Fritz, Michigan state director for The Humane Society of the United States and director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. “Everywhere our campaign goes, we encounter citizens who are excited about the opportunity to sign the petition and support Michigan’s wolves. We’re confident that our efforts will let Michigan voters decide the fate of our state’s small wolf population.”
Despite winter storms, volunteers have been gathering signatures at hundreds of events across the state, ranging from the Motown Winter Blast in Detroit and the Women’s Expo in Lansing to a dog sled race in the Upper Peninsula. Hundreds of student volunteers have signed up to gather signatures – from The Humane Society of Grand Valley State University to Michigan State University Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter, students have been actively speaking up for Michigan’s wolves.
Signature gatherers will attend more than 300 events across the state in the remaining three weeks of the campaign. Members of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign staff and volunteer petition coordinators look forward to delivering the signed petitions to the Secretary of State’s office in Lansing on March 27.
The law requires 161,305 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. The added cushion in the coalition’s goal is to make sure enough signatures are deemed valid.
It’s already legal in Michigan to kill wolves who attack livestock or dogs, making a wolf hunting season unnecessary. People don’t eat wolves, so the purpose of a hunt is strictly for bragging rights and trophies. A hunting and trapping season on this still‐recovering species is premature, inhumane and scientifically unjustified.
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is a coalition of animal welfare organizations, conservation groups, veterinarians, Native American tribes and religious leaders who are working to oppose the Michigan legislature’s last‐minute approval of a bill during the 2012 lame‐duck session that allows for the trophy hunting of wolves in Michigan for the first time in nearly 50 years.