The Keep Michigan Wolves Protected group, led by the Humane Society of the United States, submitted 240,000 signatures March 27 to place a referendum on Public Act 520 of 2012. The Board of Canvassers has 60 days from then to approve the collected signatures.
P.A. 520 placed the gray wolf on Michigan's game species list and allows the Natural Resources Commission to establish a hunting season as warranted. According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), wolves migrated to the Upper Peninsula from Minnesota in the 1980s and have continued to grow in population since, with latest estimates approaching 700!
The Michigan Farm Bureau has come out strongly against repealing the listing of gray wolves as a game species. The organization's policy speaks to game species as a whole and strongly supports hunting as the primary means of wildlife management. MFB is working with key legislators, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the National Rifle Association and Safari Club International to combat the effort.
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected aims to prevent wolves from being hunted. "We have to ask which species will be next?" says Rebecca Park, MFB Legislative Counsel. "We must not allow our state to be governed by outside interests who don't know what is best for Michigan residents or our wildlife."
Park says farmers can look for more communication to come from MFB as the issue progresses and legislation is expected to be introduced to help address the problem.
For more information, contact Park at 800-292-2680, ext. 2049.