No Wolf Hunt in 2014, No Matter What Happens on November Referendums

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, Grassroots Manager | 734.272.2584 | dyoungedyke@mucc.org

No Wolf Hunt in 2014,

Natural Resources Commission Asks DNR to Review Science, Data on Wolf Depredations for 2015

EAST LANSING—The Natural Resources Commission today announced that it


wolves Photo: ABC 10 News - U.P.

would not consider a wolf hunt for 2014, even if the two referendums on the November 2014 ballot which originally authorized a wolf hunt were approved. A separate law, the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, will grant the Natural Resources Commission authority to designate game species using sound science when it takes effect in March or April.

“Even if the referendums are passed, there would not be time to establish a wolf hunt in 2014,” said Commissioner John Matonich.  “We ask the Wildlife Division to study the science and the data on wolf depredations of dogs and livestock and present their findings to the commission in 2015.”

Russ Mason, chief of the DNR Wildlife Division, also announced that department biologists would be reviewing and possibly updating the department’s wolf management plan.

“We’re very happy with the decision to study the science and not to rush a wolf hunt this year,” said Amy Trotter, resource policy manager for Michigan United Conservation Clubs. “The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act was not about a wolf hunt, despite what the anti-hunters claimed. It was about making the decision and others like it with sound science, and that is exactly what the NRC has asked for. “

The Humane Society of the United States announced that it would be campaigning aggressively for a “no” vote on Proposals 1 and 2 this November, which originally granted the Natural Resources Commission the authority to establish Michigan’s wolf hunt last year. However, the decision not to hold a wolf hunt in 2014 renders those referendums meaningless, since the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act will re-grant the NRC that authority when it takes effect, regardless of the referendums.

“We don’t plan to spend any money on what is essentially an exit poll,” said Drew YoungeDyke, a spokesman for Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management, the coalition behind the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. “Every dime that HSUS spends on the referendums is one that won’t shelter a single pet, but I think people are starting to realize that’s not what they do, anyways.  We are encouraging people to vote ‘yes,’ on Proposal 2, though, to let HSUS know that it can’t buy votes just by spending a lot of money on political commercials.”

The NRC set a quota of 43 wolves across three separate zones of the Upper Peninsula in 2013, of which hunters harvested 22. Whether there is a wolf hunt in 2015 and what the hunting unit boundaries and quotas are will be determined by the Natural Resources Commission based on the recommendations of DNR biologists. The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act requires the NRC to use principles of sound science in designating game species and establishing hunting seasons and regulations.

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