The State Ballot Proposals

Of Wolves & Regulation

Posted In: Politics, State, Opinion,   From Issue 799   By: Robert E Martin

30th October, 2014     0

Proposal 14-1: A Referendum of Public Act 520 of 2012, Establishing a Hunting Season for Wolves & Authorizing Annual Wolf Hunting Lessons

Proposal 14-2: A Referendum of Public Act 21 of 2013, Granting the Natural Resources Commission the Power to Designate Wolves & Certain Other Animals as Game Without Legislative Action

Public Act 520 would designate wolf as game for hunting purposes and authorize the first wolf hunting season and allow the Natural Resources Commission to schedule annual wolf hunting seasons and set up criminal penalties for the unlawful possession or taking of wolves, as well as require any person hunting wolves to obtain a wolf hunting license. It would also create an advisory council for the purpose of making non-binding recommendations to the legislature regarding the proper management of wolves.

Public Act 21 would allow the NRC to designate certain animals as game for hunting purposes and establish the first hunting season for game animals without legislative action. In addition to continuing the NRC’s designation of wolves as game it would grand the Legislature sole authority to remove a species from the list of designated game animals and eliminate the $1 hunting & fishing license fee for members of the military and give the NRC sole authority to regulate fishing.

People supporting Prop 14-1 feel grey wolves are no longer on the endangered species list and have been creating financial hardships to livestock farmers in the Upper Peninsula. They claim wolves have also been encroaching into populated areas in Northern Michigan and that this area of the U.P. would benefit from an open hunting season to control this population that has started to endanger pets and livestock and could endanger people.

Supports of Prop 21 claim that the NRC is the appropriate body to manage wildlife populations based upon sound scientific management principles and that controlled hunting will curb wolf over-population and allow each wolf sufficient prey to ensure healthy packs.

People opposing these two proposals say that designating and delisting animals from the endangered species list should be determined by individuals with scientific and biological training  expertise and that the wolf population in Michigan has just begun to recover after centuries of intense hunting and is not ready to have its population thinned.  They also assert the grey wolf is revered and honored by some Native American tribes and that current law already provides a process for an individual to work with the DNR to kill a wolf that is praying on a dog or livestock.

They also object that the law takes decisions about hunting out of the hands of voters who elect their representatives and puts it into the hands of the NRC.


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