Give Michigan Voters Final Word on Important Wolf Hunting and Wildlife Issues

In response to the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management initiative submitting signatures for the November 2014 ballot, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is urging lawmakers to allow the measure to go to the ballot and let voters decide on this and two other similar wolf hunting and wildlife issues. If the initiative is certified by the Board of State Canvassers, Michigan lawmakers have the option to pass it into law, making another end-run around the state’s voters and denying Michiganders the chance to voice their opinions.

“This is now the third ballot measure on wolves and wildlife protection, and the people should be allowed to vote on them,” stated Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. “In an election year, we call on Michigan legislators to stop playing games with voters and stop trying to circumvent a fair election on this issue. It’s time to stop this abuse of power.”

It’s déjà vu for Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. After the campaign turned in more than 255,000 signatures last spring to overturn a wolf hunting law, the Michigan Legislature passed a new law, Public Act 21, handing power to the unelected, politically appointed Natural Resources Commission. Basing its decision on unreliable data and false and exaggerated claims about wolves, the NRC authorized a wolf hunting season that began last November in the Upper Peninsula.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected began collecting signatures on a second measure to stop that new law and in March 2014, submitted nearly 230,000 signatures to place the new referendum on the ballot alongside the first referendum. Those signatures have now been qualified for the November 2014 ballot.

But last fall, hunting and trapping lobby groups began their own initiative effort, misleadingly called the “Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act,” by recycling language of PA 21 to allow the NRC to designate game species. The act includes a $1 million appropriation, under the guise of controlling Asian carp, but in reality is included to make it immune to a third voter referendum. Even the title is deceptive, using the word “science” while proponents have yet to produce any scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of a hunt to manage wolves, there are no wildlife scientists on the NRC, and a panel of world-renowned wolf scientists have concluded that the planned wolf hunt is not scientifically sound, saying, “The state of Michigan should refrain from harvesting wolves.”

“Michiganders who care about wildlife and their right to vote should tell their legislators to vote NO on this initiative,” said Fritz. “Our elected officials should recognize that they were duped the first time they voted for PA 21, but now that all the scare stories, misinformation and skewed statistics behind this issue have been exposed, they have no excuse to make the same mistake twice.”

 

 


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Press Releases: Dec 14, 2016

In the 2014 general election, Michigan voters soundly rejected two referendums on the trophy hunting and trapping of the state’s small population of wolves. But now, the Michigan legislature has rushed through another bill, SB 1187, to once again designate wolves as a game species to be hunted and trapped—in spite of that public rejection of an almost identical measure at the ballot box just two years ago...


Endorsements

Keep Wolves Protected is endorsed by a number of organizations and citizens including:

  • Kalamazoo Humane Society
  • Pamela Graves, DVM
  • Detroit Audubon Society
  • Michigan Animal Shelter Rescue Network
  • Aaron Payment, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • Voiceless-MI
  • Humane Society of Huron Valley
  • Detroit Zoological Society

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