gray wolf

Environment & Science
12:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Wolf hunt licenses go on sale Saturday, while hunt opponents plan busy weekend too.

Wolf cubs
HSUS

Beginning tomorrow, Michigan hunters will start laying down $100 for a license to hunt wolves in the Upper Peninsula this fall.    

State wildlife officials admit they don’t know if the wolf hunt licenses will sell out.   The licenses will be available for hunters as young as 10 years old and from out of state. 

1,200 licenses are being sold for the wolf hunt which starts November 15.

It’s the first wolf hunt since the gray wolf rebounded from near extinction in the Upper Peninsula.   

But along with people buying wolf hunting licenses, there will be people working this weekend to protect the wolves.

Jill Fritz is with Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.  Her group is collecting signatures on a petition to put a challenge to the wolf hunt law on next year’s ballot.

“We’re encountering an enthusiastic public everywhere we go.  Whether we’re out in front of a library in Marquette or at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids,” says Fritz. 

The Department of Natural Resources has set a goal of killing 43 wolves in this fall’s hunt.  The hunt will take place in 3 separate zones in the Upper Peninsula.

Supporters say the U.P.’s growing wolf population is threatening livestock and household pets. Detractors complain the hunt will indiscriminately kill wolves and may make wolf attacks on livestock more common.

Politics & Government
12:08 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Wolf hunt opponents launch 2nd petition drive to ban the hunt

Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new petition drive is being launched to stop Michigan from holding a wolf hunt.

Last winter, more than a quarter million people signed petitions to put a ban on wolf hunting on the November, 2014 ballot.

But, state lawmakers passed a second law circumventing the petition, opening the door for a wolf hunt this fall. Thus the need for a second referendum petition drive.

Wayne Pacelle is the president of the Humane Society of the United States. He expects they will easily collect more than 200 thousand signatures.

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Politics & Government
1:46 pm
Sat August 10, 2013

Wolf hunt opponents continue petition effort

Petitions from the 1st campaign to block a wolf hunt in the U.P. Organizers hope to collect an equal amount for a 2nd referendum in 2014.
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Opponents of Michigan’s planned wolf hunt are training petition circulators this weekend for the effort to put a second referendum on the ballot.

A big part of the training will be to answer the question “Didn’t we already do this?”

The answer is yes….and no.

Last winter, wolf hunting opponents collected enough signatures to put the issue on the November 2014 ballot and sidetrack plans for a wolf hunt this fall. But state lawmakers passed a new law this Spring and put the hunt back on track.

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Environment & Science
5:55 pm
Mon July 29, 2013

Strong demand for wolf hunting licenses in Michigan delays sale date

Wolf management units in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Sixteen wolves are targeted in area A, 19 wolves in area B, and 8 wolves in area C.
State of Michigan

Update 7/30/13 9:25a.m.

The DNR announced this morning it will delay wolf hunting license sales until September 28th. The licenses were to go on sale this Saturday, August 3rd.  Licenses will be sold on a first come, first serve basis.

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Environment & Science
4:22 pm
Fri June 7, 2013

Obama administration proposes lifting federal protection for most wolves

Wolves on Isle Royale.
Credit John Vucetich/Rolf Peterson / Michigan Tech

The Obama administration announced a proposal to lift the federal protection of gray wolves in 48 states. 

The director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Dan Ashe, said wolves have recovered.

According to Matthew Brown and John Flesher of the Associated Press, Ashe cited the wolf population as having "successfully rebounded."

Ashe said that "science is an important part of this decision, but really the key is the policy question of when a species is recovered. Does the wolf have to occupy all the habitat that is available to it in order for it to be recovered? Our answer to that question is no."

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Environment & Science
5:07 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Wolf hunt law headed for 2014 ballot

USFWS Flickr

A referendum to let voters decide the fate of a law that allows wolf hunts in northern Michigan will appear on the November 2014 ballot.

The campaign’s petitions to get on the ballot were certified today by a state elections board.

Jill Fritz leads the campaign Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.

"We’re going to start our educational campaign to get the issue out there and educate the voters about the issue, and look forward to seeing the people of Michigan speak out against wolf hunting and trapping in the November-2014 election," Fritz said.

The ballot campaign still has to make a decision on what to do about a second law that allows the state to establish wolf hunts, including one to be held in November of this year.

It was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Rick Snyder after the petition drive was launched earlier this year.

Fritz says a lawsuit is not out of the question.

The law was passed as a way to help control wolves that have moved into populated parts of the western U.P.

9:19 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Should humans put more wolves on Isle Royale?

Lead in text: 
Times have changed. In Michigan we plan on killing wolves because some feel there are too many. It's a different story on Isle Royale where the wolf population is hanging on by a thread. But because Isle Royale National Park is a designated wilderness area, we, as humans, have pledged not to intervene. So what should we do? The National Park Service has a big decision to make. The folks who have been studying this place for a long time share their thoughts in this op-ed piece.
IN Lake Superior lies a remote island, Isle Royale National Park, 134,000 acres of boreal and hardwood forests where a life-or-death struggle between wolves and moose has been the subject of the world's longest study of predators and their prey, now in its 55th year.
Breaking
9:00 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Officials have approved a Michigan wolf hunt, 43 animals targeted

The hunt will take place in three zones in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
USFWS Flickr

The Natural Resources Commission has approved a wolf hunt for the Upper Peninsula. The panel heard from supporters and opponents before the vote.

State wildlife officials counted 658 wolves this winter. Officials hope to kill 43 wolves in the hunt.  

The hunt will take place in three separate zones in the Upper Peninsula beginning November 15, 2013.

The Gray Wolf until recently was listed as an endangered species by the federal government. The wolf population has grown dramatically in the last decade.

Some have complained that the increasing wolf population has led to an increase in attacks on livestock and pets in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Opponents of the wolf hunt claim it is not needed and that a hunt will not address problem wolves.

Stateside
4:36 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

The controversy around a wolf hunt in Michigan

endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com

Governor Rick Snyder has signed Senate Bill 288. That could clear the way for a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

His signature clears the way for the state's Natural Resources Commission to vote on a recommendation to hold a limited wolf hunt this fall in three parts of the UP.

The Governor told Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith that he believes the NRC will base its decision on what he called "sound scientific principles."

"If you think about it, I think sound scientific principals are how we should decide these things, to make sure we are doing the proper environmental functions that protect whatever species we're talking about, so it's sustainable for the long term," said Snyder.

More than quarter of a million Michiganders  signed a petition asking to put a wolf hunt proposal on the November 2014 ballot. And the coalition called Keep Michigan Wolves Protected says Senate Bill 288 is a deliberate attempt by lawmakers to circumvent their petition effort.

The Governor's response?

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The Environment Report
9:13 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Are people in Ironwood really afraid of wolves? (part 2)

The gray wolf
user metassus Flickr

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

Governor Rick Snyder signed a law yesterday afternoon that will allow a state wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

Later today, Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission is expected to vote on whether to authorize the hunt. That decision could have an effect on one town on the far western edge of the Upper Peninsula.

Ironwood is about as far west as you can go in the Upper Peninsula.   This town of about 5,000 is a small town with a big wolf problem. 

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Politics & Government
10:08 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Gov. Snyder signs controversial 'wolf hunt' bill

A gray wolf in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Nancy Warren

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder signed SB 288 and 289 this afternoon. The bills pave the way for a limited wolf hunt to take place in the Upper Peninsula this fall. It also goes around a referendum aimed at stopping a wolf hunt.

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The Environment Report
9:00 am
Tue May 7, 2013

U.P. residents weigh in on proposed wolf hunt (part 1)

A wolf pup, about three months old, in Mass City, MI.
Al Warren

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

This week, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission is expected to vote on whether to authorize a wolf hunt.

The hunt would take place in three separate zones in the Upper Peninsula

I traveled to the U.P. to talk with people who live near wolves to get their thoughts on the proposed hunt.

For many years, gray wolves were listed as an endangered species in Michigan. That ended last year.  But the battle between the wolves and locals in the Upper Peninsula has been going on for some time.   

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Politics & Government
8:28 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Lawmakers hold hearing on bill that could circumvent wolf hunt vote

Canis lupus.
Christian Jansky wikimedia commons

A state House committee is holding a hearing on a measure that would change how hunting is managed in Michigan, and bypass a referendum on wolf hunting if it’s on the ballot next year.

Two questions have dominated the hearing on the bill.

  1. Whether hunting is an appropriate part of plans to manage wolves in the Upper Peninsula
  2. Whether the Legislature should approve a new law to allow wolf hunts before the referendum.

Ellie Mayes circulated petitions to put the referendum on the ballot.

“This is a subversion of democracy. The entire point of the bill is to do an end run around a referendum,” she said.

“It is possible for a minority to be silenced. In this case, the minority is very isolated.”

State Representative Ed McBroom (R-Escanaba) is from the western UP.

He says pets and livestock are endangered in pockets of the UP and how to manage that problem should not be a question that’s voted on by the entire state.

“This issue is isolated to the Upper Peninsula and the people of the UP are at great risk of being totally disenfranchised by the rest of the state of Michigan on an issue that’s critical on the future of our well-being,” said McBroom.

The anti-wolf hunting campaign says the Legislature should not ignore the wishes of 255,000 people who signed petitions to put the question on the ballot.

Petition circulator Judy Brock showed up to oppose the legislation.

“And I’m representing those people who signed the petition who wanted this issue to be put on the ballot. Everyone that signed the petition when we collected knew exactly what this was about, and wanted the opportunity to vote on the issue, and that’s being taken away from us,” she said.

The question would still be on the ballot once the petitions are certified by state elections officials. However, the results of the election would not stop a wolf hunt if a new law is adopted by the Legislature and signed by Governor Rick Snyder.

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Environment & Science
4:08 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Senate to vote on 'hunting rights' amendment, could derail wolf hunt referendum

More than a hundred demonstrators showed up at the state Capitol today to protest the legislation
Rick Pluta

The state Senate is poised to vote on a measures that would circumvent a referendum on the law that allows wolf hunting. More than a hundred demonstrators showed up at the state Capitol today to protest the legislation.

It would let an appointed state board determine what species may be hunted.

Julie Baker led the ballot campaign to reverse the 1996 law that allowed hunting of mourning doves.

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Politics & Government
2:16 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Will the effort to stop wolf hunt in Michigan be derailed?

A hearing in Lansing on a proposed wolf hunt in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The referendum effort to stop a wolf hunt in Michigan has been called "a radical agenda" by those opposed to it.

Now, new legislation introduced by State Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) seeks to deflate that referendum drive.

The Michigan Legislature listed the wolf as a potential game species late last year. The group "Keep Michigan Wolves Protected" says they collected enough signatures to put the question in front of voters.

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Environment & Science
3:44 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

State officials to recommend a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula

Gray wolf
endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com

State wildlife officials plan to recommend Thursday that Michigan hold a wolf hunt this Fall in the U.P.

Gray wolves in Michigan were until recently listed as an endangered species. There are about 700 wolves in Michigan. Farmers say the growing wolf population is a threat to livestock.

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission will receive a recommendation to kill 47 wolves, as part of a hunt, focused in three parts of the Upper Peninsula. The commission may vote next month to set the dates for a wolf hunt.

Stateside
4:41 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Group hopes to stop a wolf hunt in Michigan

Canis lupis.

There is proof that saving Michigan wolves is indeed an issue that Michiganders feel passionate about.

A proposed wolf hunt in Michigan could soon be put on hold, even though the Legislature approved a wolf-hunting bill during the lame duck session last December.

That's because today the group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected delivered more than 250,000 petition signatures to the Secretary of State's office.

The petition calls for Public Act 520, the law that designates the wolf as a potential game species, to be postponed until a voter referendum in November 2014.

It was put together by a coalition of conservation, animal welfare groups, and Native American tribes who joined forces.

It wasn't that long ago that the western Great Lakes wolf population was protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.

State wildlife experts believe there are now around 700 gray wolves in our state. Some farming and hunting groups say the population is large enough for a state-regulated hunt. They argue it's needed to manage the wolf population.

Opponents of a hunt have rallied, insisting the wolf population is still too small, and a hunt is cruel.

Jill Fritz is the director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.

She gives us  perspective on the decision by lawmakers last December to designate the wolf as a potential game species in the state and answers the question "is it really time to control the wolf population in Michigan?"

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
12:03 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

Wolf hunt opponents deliver petitions to Secretary of State's office

Just a few of the boxes containing more than 250,000 signatures calling for a referendum on a proposed wolf hunt in Michigan
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

People fighting a proposed wolf hunt in Michigan are celebrating a milestone today.

They delivered a quarter million petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office this morning.   The petition calls for a statewide vote on the law authorizing the wolf hunt.

Jill Fritz is the director of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign.    She’s optimistic that state officials will validate enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

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Politics & Government
8:44 am
Wed March 27, 2013

What's going on this morning? Detroit's officials' salaries intact, tainted steroids investigation

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

Kevyn Orr leaves salaries for Mayor Bing and City Council intact

The state's new emergency manager law, which goes into effect Thursday, eliminates salaries and benefits for elected municipal officials when an emergency manager is installed.

But as Michigan Radio’s Sarah Hulett reports, an order signed by Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr will leave the salaries of Mayor Dave Bing and the City Council members intact.

"Salaries range from more than $70,000 for council members to close to $160,000 for Mayor Dave Bing."

State Attorney General Bill Schuette calls for a grand jury investigation into meningitis outbreak

Michigan's attorney general is seeking a criminal investigation into the deaths of 17 residents from contaminated steroids supplied by a Massachusetts pharmaceutical company.

As Rick Pluta explains,

"The grand jury would have the power to compel witnesses to appear and testify, including people from the four Michigan clinics that administered the injections. And it could ask a Massachusetts court to order employees of the pharmacy that made the drug to cooperate."

Wolf hunt in Michigan may be put on hold

A group opposing the hunting of gray wolves is expected to deliver tens of thousands of petition signatures to the Secretary of State's office.

If enough of the signatures are certified, a statewide vote on the proposed wolf hunt will be placed on the ballot in 2014.

Environment & Science
3:31 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Wolf hunt opponents plan to deliver petition signatures calling for statewide vote

Credit John Vucetich/Rolf Peterson / Michigan Tech

Tomorrow, Michigan may move a little closer to having a statewide vote on a possible wolf hunt.

Members of the group, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, are expected to deliver nearly a quarter million petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office.

The petition drive calls for a referendum on a new state law authorizing a gray wolf hunt.

Once endangered, the wolf population has grown in recent years. State wildlife experts believe there are around 700 gray wolves in Michigan.

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