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Act Now for Michigan Wolves!

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The Michigan Wolf Management Plan

 

The Michigan Wolf Roundtable, consisting of 20 agencies/organization representing a diversity of  Michigan interests including hunting, trapping, livestock producers, public safety, tourism, tribes and wolf education and protection groups,  reached  consensus in the development of the guiding principles of the Michigan Wolf Management Plan.  This plan which was signed July 10, 2008 by DNR Director, Rebecca Humphries, strikes a balance between protecting the wolf and resolving conflicts.  The plan strongly emphasizes the use of non-lethal controls, the valuable role of wolf education and the need for ongoing research.

Although members of the Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable reached consensus on every other issue, they did not reach agreement on whether a regulated wolf hunting/trapping season should be provided specifically for recreational or utilitarian purposes.

Talking Points

 

  • There is no evidence to support the need for a recreational hunting season.
  • A small vocal minority support the recreational hunting of wolves.  A 2011 survey conducted in the 15 Upper Peninsula counties and 8 counties in the Northern Lower Peninsula showed strong support for wolves in Michigan.   65% of respondents support funding wolf management and monitoring through the sale of a license plate and 53% support expanding types of sporting goods taxed to fund wildlife restoration.  Only  hunters were asked if the wolf was designated a game species, would they purchase a hunting license, 59% responded no.
  • As acknowledged by the Plan, the public harvest of wolves is biologically complex.  The effects of a hunting season on a wolf population are determined by “a suite of factors, including population size, age and sex structure, immigration and emigration rates, birth rates, and natural and human-induced mortality rates.”
  • Monies from a federal grant are available to assist landowners with non-lethal control of wolves.
  • With the delisting of the wolf, the Michigan Wolf Management Plan can now be fully implemented including the issuance of landowner permits when non-lethal measures   are ineffective.
  • Legislation was enacted to allow livestock and pet owners to kill wolves in the act of attacking their livestock or dogs.
  • Overall, wolf depredation in Michigan is low.  Between 1996 & 2012, there have been less than 250 depredation events.  Wolf-related conflicts are often caused by the behavior of a few individual wolves, and management at small scales can often address problems effectively.
  • Livestock producers are compensated for verified losses caused by wolves.
  • The Michigan DNR has a variety of tools available to manage wolf conflicts.
  • Section 6.12.1, paragraph 2 of the plan states, “Some situations may warrant consideration of reducing wolf numbers in localized areas as a means to reduce the risk of negative interactions.  Such consideration could be necessary if a high density 0f wolves in area, rather than the behavior of individual wolves, was determined to be responsible for problems that could not otherwise be addressed through non-lethal or individually directed lethal methods.  As of this writing, a situation of this type has not occurred in Michigan.

 

Attention!   Just Added to this Post:  Please Read and SIGN this important PETITION for MICHIGAN’S WOLVES!

http://www.change.org/petitions/urge-michigan-s-legislature-to-reject-hr-5834

 

Action Needed

By Tuesday, 9/18, contact the members of the House Natural Resource Committee; urge them to vote no on HB 5834.  Ask them to allow the approved Wolf Management Plan adequate time to be fully implemented before designating the wolf a game animal. You do not need to be a Michigan resident to comment.  Wolves  utilize national forests and belong to all of us.

NWC’s Official Statement:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B7xYnjjogLTJMjA4OVhIX2pPN2s

 

House Committee Natural Resources, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation

Chair Frank Foster(R)                                       517-373-2629                  frankfoster@house.mi.gov.

Clerk Dave Mead                                                  517 373 2013                    dmead@house.mi.gov

Vice Chair Matt Huuki (R)                                 517 373 0850                   MattHuuki@house.mi.gov

Wayne Schmidt (R)                                             517 373 1766                    WayneSchmidt@house.mi.gov

Kurt Damrow    (R)                                              517 373 0476                   KurtDamrow@house.mi.gov

Holly Hughes     (R)                                             517 373 3436                   HollyHughes@house.mi.gov

Joel Johnson (R)                                                  517 373 8962                   JoelJohnson@house.mi.gov

Peter Pettalia (R)                                                  517 373 0833                  PeterPettalia@house.mi.gov

Harold Haugh (D)                                                517  373 0854                 haroldhaugh@house.mi.gov

Maureen Stapleton (D)                                       517 373 1 008                         maureenstapleton@house.mi.gov

Timothy Bledsoe (D)                                           517 373 0154                   timbledsoe@house.mi.gov

Dian Slavens (D)                                                  517 373 2575                   dianslavens@house.mi.gov

 

Link to the Bill HB 5834

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(dpez2d3eg5451j552cjslirn))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectName=2012-HB-5834

 

Background

On August 15, 2012, Representative Matt Huuki introduced HB 5834.  This bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation and designates the wolf a game animal.  The bill establishes the first open season for the wolf and sets the fee for a resident wolf hunting license at $100 ($500 for non-resident) and a non-refundable application fee not to exceed $4.00 for each person who applies.

The committee has a meeting scheduled for 9/19.  The first notice stated that the agenda was “TO BE DETERMINED”, however, we learned through a contact with Representative Foster’s office that testimony would be taken on HB 5834.  On Friday 9/14, a revised notice was issued:

Date 9/19/2012

Time: 8:30 AM

Place:  Room 308, House Office Building, Lansing, MI

Agenda: HB 5673, HB 5674, HB 5675, HB 5676, HB 5897

To view text of the legislation go to: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/mileg.aspx?page=CommitteeBillRecord

Individuals who wish to bring written testimony need to supply a minimum of thirty copies for distribution.

Although HB 5834 is not on the agenda, the Chair can modify the agenda and add any bills for consideration and is only required to post notice 18 hours in advance.  So, we may not know until late Tuesday afternoon whether HB 5834 will be on Wednesday’s agenda.

If not the 19th, it is just a matter of time that this bill will be taken up in committee.

Michigan legislature does not have the authority to establish rules and regulations for the hunting of game animals.  In Michigan, the Commission of Natural Resources has the exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game and to the greatest extent practicable, utilize principles of sound scientific management in making decisions regarding the taking of game.   There must also be a public meeting and an opportunity for public input.

DNR has stated publicly that they support the classification of the wolf as a game animal with a very limited hunting season, though no specific details have been released.


 

 

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