Wolf Supporters to Urge House to Reject Power Grab and Allow Fair Election at Capitol Rally on Wednesday

What: Supporters of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected will hold a rally Wednesday, Aug. 27 in front of the State Capitol to urge members of the House of Representatives to vote NO on the so-called Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act. A NO vote on the initiative will put it on the November ballot with two competing referendum proposals so Michigan voters can determine important wildlife matters.

The Keep Michigan Wolves Protected rally will feature speakers representing the broad-based coalition that helped gather nearly 500,000 signatures to approve the two referenda already on the Nov. 4 ballot.
 
When: 11 a.m.—12 noon, Wednesday, Aug. 27
 
Where: State Capitol Building, Capitol and E. Michigan avenues, Lansing, MI
 
Who: Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected; Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills); Vicki Deisner, Midwest Legislative Director for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and; others to be announced.
 
“We call on House members to end this abuse of power, restore respect for the democratic process, and allow the people to determine whether wolves should be hunted and other critical wildlife management issues by voting no on the Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act on Wednesday,” said Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.
 
Additional Information:
The Michigan Senate approved the Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act, 23-13, on Aug. 13 to give the unelected, politically appointed Natural Resources Commission the power to designate game species.
Strong statewide and national support to reject the initiative and allow voters to settle the debate on wolf hunting includes:
 
“[A]n MLive.com investigation last fall found government half-truths, falsehoods and skewed statistics distorted arguments for the hunt…. Considering these facts, voters should be given the opportunity to decide … Lawmakers: Don’t deny Michigan citizens their voice yet again.” (The MLive Media Group Editorial Board, the parent company of MLive.com, is made up of the company’s executive leadership, content directors, and editors who oversee its 10 local markets. Those markets include Ann Arbor, Detroit, Bay City, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Muskegon and Saginaw.), Aug. 3.
 
“Since the public called for these questions by collecting a substantial number of signatures on petitions … voters should decide. Next week, the state House should let them.” Livingston Daily, Aug. 15.
 
“[The Senate’s] legislation effectively thwarts the effort to ban wolf hunting… This isn’t the first time the lawmakers have acted against the public’s right to decide important state issues.” Port Huron Times Herald, Aug. 16
 
“In light of the poor decision making skills of the state when it comes to wolves, citizens rightly stood up to them and started a petition to protect these animals. But [the Senate instead endorsed] a competing petition, based in those same untruths and fears that caused the wolf to be made a game animal in the first place...” Petoskey News, Aug. 15.
 
“Adding insult to injury, Wednesday’s wolf hunt vote was held on the only day in August the Senate will meet. Senators interrupted their five-week summer vacation to return to Lansing solely to steal the voters’ right to participate in the lawmaking process.” Traverse City Record-Eagle, Aug. 14.
 
“The GOP-controlled Senate … utterly disregard[ed] the will of the majority of citizens who oppose the hunting of gray wolves…. [T]he zealousness of those pursuing the hunt, their willingness to exaggerate or fabricate examples of wolf depredation and the dismissiveness with which they treat wolf biologists inspire no confidence in us.… [T]his initiative belongs … on the November ballot — and we beseech lawmakers in the House regardless of their personal view to put their trust in citizens.” Battle Creek Enquirer, Aug. 14.
 
“There is no imperative — no pressing public interest — to establish a wolf hunt, certainly not against the will of the majority of Michigan voters…. If lawmakers give a lick about the rights of its citizens and the democratic process, they will let voters decide this issue.” Battle Creek Enquirer, July 26.
 
“By blocking not one but two efforts to refer legislation to voters, lawmakers would send a bad signal. Let voters spend the next three months considering the merits of the proposals.” Lansing State Journal, Aug. 9.
 
“Last week, the Detroit area was hit by a massive rainstorm that closed parts or all of every freeway, some for days. Thousands of basements were flooded … But incredibly, when lawmakers met the day after the flood, the only item on their agenda was passing a bill to prevent a referendum that would outlaw the hunting of wolves.” The Toledo Blade, Aug. 18.
 
“The Michigan state Senate voted the other day to allow hunting of wolves. The vote is a direct threat to these wild creatures, of course. But also in the crosshairs are the voters of Michigan. … Wolves may survive if the legislature refuses to let the voters have a say. What could go on the endangered list are democracy and citizens' faith in government.” The Chicago Tribune, Aug. 21.
 
The new initiative gives the unelected, politically appointed Natural Resources Commission the power to designate game species and includes two separate issues — an appropriation establishing an emergency fund to fight Asian carp, which is designed to make the measure referendum-proof, and a provision for free hunting and fishing licenses for active military members. Those licenses for members of our armed forces are currently $1.
 
The Senate-approved initiative, misleadingly called the “Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act,” would give the Natural Resources Commission authority to open a hunting and trapping season on wolves and other protected species—mirroring a measure the legislature passed in the spring of 2013 to circumvent a public vote on wolf hunting. The seven, unelected members of the NRC are political appointees and are not accountable to voters.
 
Last year, the NRC ignored testimony from wildlife experts and deleted thousands of emails from the public before designating the wolf as a game species and establishing Michigan’s first wolf hunt in more than four decades. In their rationale for the wolf hunt, NRC members used wolf-cattle depredation figures to justify their decision—even though two-thirds of the incidents occurred on one poorly managed Upper Peninsula farm. The farm owner pocketed more than $33,000 in reimbursements for livestock losses, failed to use fencing provided by the state to protect his animals, and recently pleaded no contest to animal cruelty charges for the death of two guard donkeys provided to him at taxpayers’ expense to prevent wolf predation.
 
In March 2013, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected submitted more than 255,000 signatures to overturn a wolf-hunting law (Public Act 520 of 2012) that was approved during the 2012 lame duck session and was based on fabricated stories about wolf incidents in the U.P. Public Act 520 will be on the November 2014 ballot, and should be rejected with a “no” vote.  The Legislature, ignoring the people, then passed a second law (Public Act 21 of 2013) to give the political appointees on the Natural Resources Commission the power to designate game species.  In March 2014, Keep Michigan Protected submitted more than 225,000 signatures to place Public Act 21 on the November 2014 ballot, and that measure should also be rejected by residents with a “no” vote.
 
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is supported by humane organizations, more than 100 Michigan veterinarians and veterinary hospitals, Native American tribes, conservation groups, faith-based organizations, the Detroit Zoological Society, leading wolf biologists including Michigan Tech professors Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich, rank-and-file hunters and many other concerned Michiganders. Learn more about our coalition at 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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