Wolf Hunt Proponents Try Yet Another Tactic to Strip Voter Rights

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected works to restore the rights of Michigan voters to impact wildlife policy

LANSING, MI – As an average of one wolf is killed each day in Michigan’s ongoing wolf trophy hunting season – enacted through the use of falsehoods, fear-mongering and the suppression of public opinion by state officials – another attempt to usurp voter rights was launched following the approval of a new initiative by the Board of State Canvassers. 
 
The ballot initiative, sponsored by trophy hunting and trapping interest groups, is largely duplicative in content to the law that the legislature approved earlier in the year, giving authority to the Natural Resources Commission to declare any protected species a game species.  If petitioners qualify the measure, and state lawmakers approve it, it will void the effect of both referenda that Michigan voters are working to place on the November 2014 ballot.  The purpose of their ballot initiative is to subvert the two referenda advanced by wildlife protection, humane, environmental, and Native American organizations.
 
“It is counterintuitive, but trophy hunting groups are circulating a petition to prevent public votes on the wolf issue, not to engage citizens,” said Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. “It's apparent that these special interests will go to any lengths to have their wolf hunt, including circulating false statements and myths about wolf incidents, and making an end-run around the voters just to get their way.”
 
The new initiative is called ‘The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act,’ despite the fact that proponents have yet to produce any scientific evidence supporting the hunting of wolves. In fact, leading wolf and predator biologists in Michigan and across the Midwest have provided ample data that show, not only would a recreational hunt on wolves not have any effect on the few wolf conflicts that occur, it could actually make them worse by dispersing packs.
 
The latest action follows an investigation by Mlive.com (http://topics.mlive.com/tag/wolf%20hunt/index.html) revealing that false or incomplete data was used to justify the need for a wolf hunt. Lawmakers embellished details of a wolf sighting outside an Upper Peninsula daycare to create an incident that never occurred; the Department of Natural Resources’ furbearer specialist fabricated a story in a radio interview about wolves threatening people outside their homes; the U.P. farmer who reported more than 60 percent of wolf-livestock incidents over the past three years baited wolves using deer and cattle carcasses in violation of state law; and the Natural Resources Commission asked for public input about the wolf hunt and then deleted or ignored more than 10,000 email comments on the subject.
 
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected seeks to restore the protection of wolves enacted by the state decades ago and stop wolf hunting. Michigan voters are urged to vote ‘no’ on two wolf referendums in the Nov. 4, 2014 election. 
 
In March 2013, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected – a coalition of animal welfare groups, conservationists, veterinarians, business owners, faith leaders and Native American tribes – submitted more than 255,000 signatures of Michigan citizens allowing voters to decide in the November 2014 election if the wolf should be designated as a game animal. 
 
Before the people even had an opportunity to vote on the issue, legislators and the governor hastily approved a second law (P.A. 21) allowing the unelected, political appointees of the Natural Resources Commission to designate the wolf and other protected animals as game species, which would no longer be subject to the voter referendum process. Keep Michigan Wolves Protected launched a second petition drive in August 2013 to overturn P.A. 21. 
 
Persons interested in volunteering, donating or learning more about the issue can visit KeepWolvesProtected.com.
 


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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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