wolf hunting

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
7:01 am
Fri May 3, 2013

In this morning's news: Auto insurance, wolf hunting, insurance for live-in partners

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No-fault overhaul moves forward

"A state House panel has voted on a bill to overhaul Michigan’s auto no-fault system. Right now, people who are severely injured in an auto accident can get unlimited lifetime medical benefits. The legislation would cap those benefits at $1 million," Jake Neher reports.

House adopts wolf hunting bill

"The state House has approved a measure that would allow an Upper Peninsula wolf hunt to go ahead regardless of a referendum on the question," Rick Pluta reports.

Health insurance for live-in partners stays

"A decision to provide health insurance to same-sex domestic partners of Michigan state government employees is intact. In an order released Thursday, the state Supreme Court unanimously declined to hear an appeal filed by Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette. The state health insurance plan covers non-family members who've lived continuously with state workers for at least a year," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
4:37 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bill that circumvents wolf hunt vote going to Gov. Snyder

The state House has approved a bill that would allow a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula to go forward regardless of the result of a possible state-wide referendum on a wolf hunt.

The bill was approved last week by the state Senate, and Governor Rick Snyder is expected to sign it.

More from the Detroit Free Press:

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Politics & Government
8:58 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The week in Michigan politics: Senate candidates, wolf hunt and wraparound school grants

cncphotos flickr

The week in Michigan politics interview

This week in Michigan politics, Christina Shockley and Jack Lessenberry discuss the race for the Senate seat left vacant by Carl Levin, legislation that would allow a wolf hunt despite a petition against it, and Governor Snyder's call for businesses to become more directly involved in schools.

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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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Politics & Government
7:26 am
Fri April 26, 2013

In this morning's headlines: wolf hunt, EAA borrows millions from DPS, unemployment down

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Lawmakers try to block referendum to wolf hunt

"The state Senate has approved legislation that would make a voter referendum on wolf-hunting in Michigan irrelevant – even before the question has been formally approved for the November ballot. The measure would name the wolf and 38 other animals as game species. That’s despite a looming voter challenge to a new state law that allows wolf hunting," Rick Pluta reports.

Education Achievement Authority in financial trouble, borrows $12 million from DPS

The state run school district meant to turn around the lowest performing schools has been found to borrow $12 million from Detroit Public Schools.  The Education Achievement Authority took over 15 former Detroit Public Schools this school year.

Unemployment rate down statewide

"Michigan says that the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate is down statewide and in all 17 major labor markets. The lowest rate in the March report was for Ann Arbor at 5.1 percent. The highest was for the northeastern Lower Peninsula at 13.1 percent," the Associated Press reports.

Politics & Government
8:46 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Commentary: Hunting wolves

Lessenberry commentary for 4/25/2013

I don’t know whether it makes sense to ever allow people to hunt wolves in the Upper Peninsula or not. Nor do I have any strong emotional feeling about this. 

Personally, I don’t see killing things that can’t fight back as a sport. But I have also, years ago, interviewed farmers and ranchers who lost livestock to wolves.

I’m not sure whether it would be more dangerous to be a pen with a wolf or in a room with one of those ranchers if you told him you wanted to outlaw his right to hunt down wolves.

Lots of people, however, do have very strong feelings about this, and about bills now before the legislature that would allow the government to say what species could be hunted.

Not only that, the bill now in the senate would cleverly take away the people’s right to ever repeal this bill, or to designate a protected species, as the voters did with mourning doves a few years ago. That strikes me as unethical and unfair.

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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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It's Just Politics
2:13 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Why your vote on a wolf-hunt referendum might not matter

It's Just Politics
Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

We really hadn’t heard much about referendum-proofing since back in December and the Legislature’s now-infamous “lame duck” session. But the wait is over. We now have a new controversy and a new referendum-proofed bill before the state Senate which could be voted on as early as next week.

We’ve talked about referendum-proofing before on It’s Just Politics, it’s when the Legislature wants to make sure a controversial bit of business can’t be reversed by voters using the referendum, lawmakers put a little spending in it. That makes the legislation an appropriation, and to protect the full faith and credit of the state, the Michigan Constitution says that’s the only kind of law that can’t be challenged by a referendum.

Referendum-proofing has been going on for a long time but, it’s really picked up steam in the last three years. The Republican-majority ruled state Legislature now regularly makes its controversial work immune to referendums – the repeal of the item pricing law, the income tax on pensions, and the controversial right to work law, just to name a few.

Strangely, the Legislature did not referendum-proof the first emergency manager law it passed in the last session, and after voters rejected it last November, turned around and passed a new emergency manager law with a referendum-proofing appropriation in it.

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Politics & Government
7:24 am
Fri April 12, 2013

In this morning's news: International bridge to be approved, McCotter sues, wolf hunt

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International bridge crossing to be announced today

"Governor Rick Snyder is expected to announce this afternoon that the federal government has approved a deal to build a new international bridge between Detroit and Windsor-Ontario," Rick Pluta reports.
 

McCotter sues staffers for forged nomination peitions

"Ex-Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter has sued a former top aide and an ex-intern, saying they deliberately submitted forged nominating petitions in his name to keep him from seeking re-election.  Elections officials discovered bogus signatures on the Livonia Republican's petitions, keeping him off the 2012 primary ballot. McCotter quit Congress in July," the Associated Press reports.

Legislation could approve wolf hunting with no room for a referendum

"The state Senate could vote as soon as next week on legislation that could throw a wrench in an effort to ban wolf-hunting. The legislation would allow hunting of 39 species – including wolves. And it would be immune to a referendum," Rick Pluta reports.

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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Politics & Government
8:29 am
Thu April 11, 2013

In this morning's news: wolf hunt, Jones Day contract, new transit authority

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Wildlife officials recommend wolf hunt for Upper Peninsula

State wildlife officials are recommending today that a hunt on the formerly endangered gray wolf be allowed to take place this fall.

"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," Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody reports.
 

Detroit City Council reviewing Jones Day contract

The Detroit City Council is reviewing a contract with Jones Day, emergency manager Kevyn Orr's former law firm.

"The Jones Day firm is already working with the city on some long-term restructuring. Some Council members suggest there are conflicts of interest because Jones Day also represents several Detroit creditors," according to Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek.

New Regional Transit Authority meets for first time

Transit advocates celebrated the first meeting of metro Detroit's Regional Transit Authority, which will coordinate the region's transit agencies.

"Advocates want the board to develop a master transit plan, and push a region-wide vote to fund transit operations," Sarah Cwiek reports.

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.

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
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.

Law
4:59 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

State elections panel clears way for new petition drives

New petition is underway for Fracking in Michigan.
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A state elections panel today cleared the way for two new petition drives to get underway. The drives will try to put questions on the 2014 general election ballot.

Fred Woodhams is with the Michigan Secretary of State. He says this brings the number of petition drives that have been approved for circulation to three.  He says the first is “a legislative initiative regarding fracking. “  He continued, “There’s a referendum regarding the wolf hunt legislation that was passed last year, and then there’s the constitutional amendment that deals with appropriations bills.”

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