Keep Michigan Wolves Protected: UPDATE
March 27, 2013
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a broad-based coalition of organizations, including Wolfwatcher, formed to repeal the recently enacted law designating wolves as game animals, will submit tomorrow, Wednesday, March 27, to the Secretary of State’s office more than 240,000 signatures that, when certified, will place any plans for a wolf hunting season on hold until Michigan voters decide in November 2014.
The group only had 67 days to collect the signatures because delays in the bill signing and approval of the petition language reduced the 90 day period prescribed by law to collect the signatures. The group far surpassed the 161,305 required signatures and will meet the March 27 deadline in order to get the referendum on the November 2014 ballot.
More than 2,000 Michigan residents volunteered for Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a coalition of animal welfare groups, conservationists, hunters and sportsmen, veterinarians, Native American tribes and faith leaders — to gather signatures in sub-freezing temperatures throughout Michigan’s Upper and Lower Peninsulas. The volunteers participated in more than 700 events statewide, most of them outdoors.
Once submitted, the Board of State Canvassers has 60 days (with an option of 15 additional days) to determine if the petitions contain enough valid signatures. If so, implementation of the wolf hunting law (P.A. 520) will be suspended pending the outcome of the November 2014 vote.
WHEN: Press Conference
10 a.m., Wednesday, March 27
State Capitol, Room CB-426 (4th Floor), Capitol Ave. at Michigan Ave., Lansing
10:30 a.m. – Petition Walk: Participants will carry petition boxes, exiting through the west side of the State Capitol, and will walk across the pedestrian plaza to Secretary of State’s office, 430 W. Allegan St., Lansing
11 a.m. – Petition Delivery: 25-30 boxes containing more than 240,000 petition signatures will be delivered to the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections (1st Floor Main Entrance), 430 W. Allegan St., Lansing
As part of this Coalition, members of Wolfwatcher’s Great Lakes team, Melba Coleman and Jackie Winkowski, will be there to represent the growing voice of our supporters who believe we must ‘keep Michigan wolves protected.’
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Wolves have been protected in Michigan for almost 50 years after being hunted to the brink of extinction. After more than four decades of protection, there are fewer than 700 wolves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Despite the wolf population’s fragile status, the Michigan legislature rushed a bill through last year’s session authorizing a sport hunting season for wolves – opening the door to the same practices that virtually eradicated their population in the first place.