Wolf Hunt Supporters Setting Another Trap for Michigan Voters

LANSING, MI - It seems only fitting that Michigan’s first wolf trophy hunting season, which was authorized by legislation based on  falsehoods and tall tales about marauding wolves, would end in most of its 1,200 licensees failing to shoot a wolf. The final death toll was 23 wolves, in spite of the use of bait and predator callers to lure the shy, elusive wolf out into the open to be shot.

Wolf hunting proponents are making clear their plans to allow the use of traps if Michigan voters don’t restore protections for wolves. Brian Roell, a wildlife biologist Michigan Department of Natural Resources, recently stated, "We do know trapping is a more effective way of harvesting wolves," (Marquette Mining Journal, Dec. 12, 2013). During Wisconsin’s 2013 wolf hunt, 67 percent of wolf kills were the result of these inhumane, painful devices. 
 
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected predicts that another trap could be set for Michigan voters in the New Year, with a repeat of 2013 when lawmakers ramrodded PA 21, a bill to nullify the signatures of more than 255,000 Michigan voters opposing the wolf hunt and granting the Natural Resources Commission the power to designate game species without voter oversight. 
 
Now, a group of trophy hunting and trapping interest groups have launched an initiative, misnamed the “Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act” (despite the lack of any science to justify a wolf hunt),  which seeks to recycle language similar to PA 21 through the citizen initiative process and deliver it to the legislature for another vote. If passed, the initiative language would cement the power to designate game species with the NRC and would effectively scuttle two citizen referendums on the November 2014 ballot to repeal bills allowing wolves to be hunted.
 
Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, the author of PA 21 and the wolf hunt’s biggest advocate in the legislature, recently endorsed the new initiative effort by stating, “I encourage everyone to actively support the effort by signing a petition…and volunteering to help so the initiative can be considered by the Legislature.”  http://abc10up.com/casperson-endorses-citizen-initiative-to-protect-hunting-and-fishing-rights/
 
“The group behind this petition drive has no intention of putting the initiative on the ballot, because they know that the people of Michigan do not support the trophy hunting of wolves,” said Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. “Legislators are afraid to let the people of Michigan vote. They’d rather put their trust in the bureaucrats of the Natural Resources Commission, who will be sure to grant the wishes of big game and trapping interests.”
 
The end of the wolf hunt 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 has now been charged with animal neglect; 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.
 
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, PA 21, allowing the unelected, political appointees of the Natural Resources Commission to designate the wolf and other protected animals as game species, a decision that could not be overturned by the voter referendum process. Keep Michigan Wolves Protected launched a second petition drive in August 2013 to overturn PA 21. 
 
Persons interested in volunteering, donating or learning more about the issue can visit KeepWolvesProtected.com.
 


Latest News

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

Endorse

All Endorsements