gray wolf

Politics & Government
4:24 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

You might be voting on a wolf hunt in Michigan

John Vucetich/Rolf Peterson Michigan Tech

In 1973, there were around a half a dozen wolves in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Today, there are around 700, and some hunters and legislators want to establish a hunting season for the wolves.

Others want to stop that effort.

If the group "Keep Michigan Wolves Protected" succeeds in collecting enough signatures, you'll be asked to vote on a potential wolf hunt in November 2014.

The group has to collect 161,305 petition signatures by the end of March 27.

With three weeks left, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected says it has already collected more than 100,000 signatures.

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Environment & Science
8:08 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

Park revises 2012 Isle Royale female wolf total

Rolf Peterson, John Vucetich Michigan Tech

ISLE ROYALE, Mich. (AP) - Isle Royale National Park's gray wolves apparently don't have a gender gap after all.

Scientists reported last year that only nine wolves remained on the Lake Superior island chain - the lowest total in more than 50 years. They said just one was known to be a female, raising doubts about the predator's long-term prospects for survival in the wilderness park.

But Superintendent Phyllis Green said Thursday that genetic analysis of wolf excrement and additional observations suggest that four or five of the animals are females.

Even so, Green says the wolves' situation remains tenuous and experts are studying how climate change may affect them.

Michigan Technological University biologists are conducting their annual winter study at Isle Royale and are expected to release updated wolf and moose numbers next month.

Environment & Science
4:34 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Lawsuit filed to protect Great Lakes wolf population

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr

The Humane Society along with several other groups filed a lawsuit in federal court today to put a stop to gray wolf hunting in the Great Lakes Region.

The lawsuit is against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over its decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the Endangered Species List.

If its successful, the lawsuit would place the wolves back under federal protection.

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Environment & Science
10:19 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Photo of 100 pound wolf making the rounds on Facebook

A Michigan DNR conservation officer holding a 100 lb. wolf hit by a car in the Upper Peninsula.
Credit Michigan Whitetail Pursuit / Facebook

This picture is making the rounds on Facebook.

It was posted on the Michigan Whitetail Pursuit page and has been shared more than 3,000 times.

The animal was so big, I wasn't sure if the photo was manipulated. I checked in with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to find the story behind the photo.

It's legit, according to Ed Golder of the MDNR.

"This picture is of one of our conservation officers from Iron County in the Upper Peninsula. The wolf he is holding was hit by a car near Watersmeet in Gogebic County," said Golder.

"Tribal police were the primary responding agency. The wolf will go to an Upper Peninsula tribe so it can be mounted and displayed for educational purposes.

The wolf -- which was healthy and in good shape -- weighed about 100 pounds but looks bigger in the photo because of its full winter coat."

That's a warm winter coat.

- H/T to Sarah Hulett

Politics & Government
5:06 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Coalition seeks to reverse Michigan's wolf hunt law

user metassus Flickr

The group trying to reverse Michigan’s new law that allows a wolf-hunting season in the Upper Peninsula unveiled its campaign coalition today.

It includes the Humane Society and other animal rights groups, as well as Michigan’s American Indian tribes. The coalition is trying to put a referendum on the 2014 ballot.

Aaron Payment is the chair of the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He said a wolf hunt would be an affront to tribal culture.

“In our tradition, in our culture, we believe that the wolf is our brother. And, I don’t mean this to sound very mystical, but in our long-standing tradition, we believe that what happens to the wolf, eventually happens to us,” said Payment.

Payment said a wolf hunt could also violate a 2007 agreement between Indian tribes and the state of Michigan.

Supporters of the law say state wildlife officials should be allowed to use limited hunting as a wolf-management tool. The gray wolf was removed from the endangered species list in Michigan last year.

Politics & Government
4:29 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Group gets green light to seek repeal of wolf hunt law from state board

www.isleroyalewolf.org

An animal welfare group has the green light to start collecting signatures in its attempt to stop a new law opening Michigan to a wolf hunt.

On Thursday, a state board approved petitions drafted by the group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.

Michael Hodge is their attorney. He said there is no evidence that wolves are a problem in the Upper Peninsula.

“So it’s a hunting season for trophy hunters who want to kill an animal that just basically reappeared in the state of Michigan in recent years,” said Hodge.

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Politics & Government
6:45 am
Tue January 15, 2013

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Referendum campaign will try to block wolf hunts

After Governor Rick Snyder recently signed legislation opening up the doors to a possible wolf hunt in the state, a referendum campaign is trying to block the move. The Detroit News reports,

A petition committee, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, is attempting to gather 225,000 signatures in the next two and a half months for a statewide ballot question that would protect wolves from being hunted as a trophy animal.

Governor Snyder criticizes right to work as Pure Michigan ad

Governor Rick Snyder has criticized a Michigan Economic Development Corporation ad that ran in the Wall Street Journal that touts the new right to work legislation as "Pure Michigan. "Governor Snyder says he would not have singled out right-to-work. Instead, he says he hoped the ad would highlight a broad range of new economic policies," Jake Neher reports.

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Politics & Government
5:13 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Referendum campaign will try to block wolf hunts

The wolf population in Michigan is now being controlled by the state. In Minnesota, officials are considering a hunting season.
user metassus Flickr

A ballot campaign will launch this week to overturn a new law that allows the state to establish wolf hunting seasons in the Upper Peninsula.

The campaign Keep Michigan Wolves Protected will appear before a state elections board on Thursday to get its petition approved for circulation.

Jill Fritz is the Michigan director for the Humane Society and the leader of the petition drive. She said the gray wolf was only recently removed from the endangered species list.

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Environment & Science
4:36 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Stateside: What Upper Peninsula wolf hunt means for Michigan

The state Senate approved an open hunting season on gray wolves
Tracy Brooks/Mission Wolf/USFWS

Adam Bump spoke with Cyndy about wolf hunting in Michigan.

Gray wolves in the Upper Peninsula are a step closer to being hunted this fall.

A new state law designating wolves as game animals in Michigan passed late last year.

Adam Bump of Michigan Department of Natural Resources spoke with Cyndy about the implications of hunting wolves.

“The focus was to give the DNR the full range of options for wolf management," said Bump.

Bump noted the conflicts the wolves created.

“There certainly is a lot of conflict that exists surrounding wolves. We’ve had consistent depredations where wolves are praying on livestock.”

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Environment & Science
2:46 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

Michigan may hold a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula this fall

People listen to a presentation on a potential wolf hunt during today's meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Gray wolves in the Upper Peninsula are a step closer to being hunted this fall.

For many years, the Gray Wolf was on the endangered species list.   Now, there are an estimated 687 wolves in the Upper Peninsula. That’s far more than is needed for the wolves to have a viable population, according to state wildlife biologists.

“When you look at 687, it’s probably not the appropriate number to look at in context of ‘Do we need public harvest to resolve conflicts?’” says Adam Bump, a specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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Environment & Science
12:44 pm
Wed January 2, 2013

State wildlife officials will start mulling wolf hunt this month

Michigan natural resources officials will start the new year considering a possible wolf hunt in the state.

Governor Rick Snyder recently signed a bill that establishes the gray wolf as a game species.

But that doesn’t mean there will be a wolf hunt in the state. That will be up to the state wildlife commission.

Department of Natural Resources spokesperson Ed Golder said the commission will start looking into the issue in January.

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Politics & Government
1:31 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Legislature stays up late, passes flood of lame-duck bills

user Steve & Christine from USA Wikipedia

More than a few Michigan legislators are probably feeling a little fuzzy today, asking themselves the all-important question, “What happened last night?”

That’s because lawmakers were up until 4:30 a.m. this morning as part of an all-night legislative binge that saw the passage of a bundle of bills.

And as MLive reports, not everyone is happy about the way it happened:

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Politics & Government
12:12 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Wolf hunt one step closer in Michigan, bill on its way to Snyder

user metassus Flickr

Legislation that could allow a limited wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula cleared the state House Wednesday, and is on its way to Governor Rick Snyder.

The grey wolf was recently removed from the federal endangered species list.

State Representative Jeff Irwin is a Democrat from Ann Arbor. He was one of the “no” votes.

“This is an animal that just came off the endangered species list. The populations are not even healthy or even abundant, and I don’t think it’s the right time to talk about shooting wolves in northern Michigan,” Irwin said.

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Politics & Government
8:45 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Commentary: Orgy of lawmaking

Lessenberry essay for 12/13/12

Don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the current lame duck session of the legislature is trying to do about as much as lawmakers normally do in about ten years. Now I am sure that’s an exaggeration, but it doesn’t feel like one.

Consider this. In a single day, the governor and the Republican majority pushed through the most momentous labor legislation in years, taking the once inconceivable step of outlawing the union shop and making Michigan a so-called right to work state.

They aren’t stopping there, however: The governor is going to have to make a decision on four bills, or parts of bills aimed at making it harder for women to get abortions in Michigan.

For the last two years, lots of people have believed that Rick Snyder may be a pro-business fiscal conservative, but that he was really a moderate on social issues. Well, now we are about to find out.

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The Environment Report
10:35 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Debate continues around science behind wolf hunt

Canis lupus.
USFWS Midwest

You can listen to today's Environment Report or read the story below.

The Michigan Legislature is moving closer to allowing a hunting season for gray wolves.  The state Senate voted last week to make the wolf a game species.  Now, the bill goes to the House.

There are around 700 wolves in Michigan, mostly in the western Upper Peninsula.

If the Legislature makes the wolf a game species, then wildlife officials will still have to justify that a hunt is necessary and that it won’t harm wolf recovery. 

Under state law, there can’t be a recreational wolf hunt for any old reason.

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Environment & Science
1:08 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

State Senate passes bill that could lead to gray wolf hunting season

The gray wolf might become Michigan's newest game species.
USFWS

A controversial piece of legislation that would make the gray wolf a game species has passed the Michigan Senate.

The bill, introduced by Escanaba Republican Tom Casperson, paves the way for a possible hunting and trapping seasons for wolves.

If the bill becomes law, the state’s Natural Resources Commission would be allowed to determine if a hunt were needed.

There are nearly 700 wolves in Michigan today, up from under 300 just a decade ago. The wolves, removed from the endangered species list this past January, are concentrated in the western Upper Peninsula.

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Politics & Government
6:57 am
Fri November 30, 2012

In this morning's Michigan news headlines. . .

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

State-run health exchange rejected in House

Action on a state-run exchange for people to shop for health coverage was rejected in the state House Thursday. As the Lansing State Journal reports,

"Gov. Rick Snyder prefers a state-run program, but his administration this month applied for a federal grant as a first step toward the fallback position of teaming with the federal department. States have the option of creating their own exchange, teaming up with the federal government or having a federal system. . . Some Democrats opposed the legislation because it was linked to bills that would prohibit qualified health plans offered through a state exchange from providing coverage for elective abortion but would allow people to buy optional supplemental coverage for elective abortion outside the exchange."

Bills move forward to make gray wolf a game species

The Michigan Senate has approved a bill that would designate the gray wolf as a game species. The bill gives the Natural Resources Commission authority to decide whether to establish wolf hunting seasons. As the Detroit Free Press reports,

"The wolves were removed from the endangered species list in January, but only the DNR is allowed to manage the wolf population, which has begun to encroach upon U.P. towns, according to residents. The animals also are having a big impact on the U.P.'s deer population, killing between 17,000 and 29,000 deer every year, according to a report from the DNR."

State threatens to sue Troy over special election

"The state is threatening to sue the city of Troy over plans for a special election to replace recalled Mayor Janice Daniels. The Michigan Department of Elections says state law requires an election in February. Troy officials want to wait until next November. The state sent a letter to city leaders giving them until 1pm Friday to comply with the directive, and avoid litigation," Chris Zollars reports.

The Environment Report
10:58 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Tribes opposed to possibility of Michigan wolf hunting season

Canis lupus.
USFWS Midwest

You can listen to today's Environment Report segment above, or read the transcript below.

We reported last week that Michigan lawmakers are considering legislation to make gray wolves a game species (State Representative Matt Huuki (R-Atlantic Mine) introduced HB 5834. Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) introduced a similar bill (SB 1350) in the state Senate). These bills would make it possible to have a hunting and trapping season for wolves. 

SB 1350 cleared a Senate committee late last week.  It now moves to the full Senate. 

But a number of tribes in Michigan are opposed to a wolf hunt and that could hold the process up. 

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The Environment Report
9:00 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Michigan lawmakers consider opening door for a wolf hunting season

Michigan's gray wolf population is estimated to be around 700 animals. The recovery goal for the population was between 250-300 wolves.
Tracy Brooks/Mission Wolf/USFWS

Gray wolves in the Great Lakes region came off the endangered species list this past January.  There are about 700 wolves in Michigan now.  A decade ago, there were just under 300. 

Now, state lawmakers are considering legislation to make gray wolves a game species in Michigan. That would open the door to a possible hunting and trapping season for wolves.

Adam Bump is the Bear and Furbearer Specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  He says most of the wolves are in the western Upper Peninsula and that’s causing some conflicts with people.

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Environment
10:36 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Living with Michigan's wolves

Michigan's gray wolf population is estimated to be 687 animals. The recovery goal for the population is between 250-300 wolves.
Tracy Brooks/Mission Wolf/USFWS

Gray wolves in the western Great Lakes were recently taken off the endangered species list. Now, the state of Michigan is responsible for managing the wolf population.

Michael Nelson is a professor of environmental ethics at Michigan State University. He’s an author of a new report on people’s attitudes about wolves in Michigan. His report is based on a statewide telephone survey conducted in 2010. 

Nelson says they asked people throughout the state how they felt about the following four statements (on a five point scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree):

  1. "I enjoy knowing wolves exist in Michigan."
  2. "I would be likely to purchase a license to hunt or trap wolves."
  3. "The decision to hunt wolves should be made by public vote."
  4. "Wolves should only be hunted if biologists believe the wolf population can sustain a hunt."

Michael Nelson says overall, Michiganders tend to value wolves.

"Generally, we found out that people enjoy knowing there are wolves in Michigan. This varies from place to place. We also found out that in general, the people of Michigan really support wildlife biology, wildlife science as an important way to make decisions about wolves."

But he says people’s feelings about wolves change based on where they live in the state.

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