Wolfwatcher Supports ‘Keep Michigan Wolves Protected’
January 17, 2013
The National Wolfwatcher Coalition, Inc supports the ballot committee, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, and their campaign to gather 225,000 signatures of Michigan voters. Public Act 520 designated the wolf a game animal and authorized a wolf hunting season in Michigan. This referendum initiative will give Michigan residents the opportunity to repeal this law.
Wolves belong to all of us and with less than 700 wolves in the State, we support the right of Michigan voters to decide whether wolves should be hunted. One year is insufficient time to evaluate the effectiveness of the approved Wolf Management Plan and DNR must determine the impact lethal control will have on pack dynamics and population growth. The plan allows for non-lethal and lethal measures to manage conflicts and there is no scientific evidence to suggest that reducing wolf populations, even in limited areas, as suggested by DNR will reduce wolf conflicts.
The DNR has made a commitment to follow the entire plan and they should not choose to ignore key components such as public education and outreach. The plan identifies and supports measures to promote positive wolf-related interactions and established objectives to increase public awareness regarding benefits provided by wolves and specific opportunities for people to experience and appreciate wolves, yet these initiatives have not been a priority due to a lack of staff. A coordinated long range information and education plan, including education materials intended for various audiences, must still be developed involving Federal, State, Tribal, local agencies and non-governmental organizations.