Michigan Wolf Management Advisory Council hears public comment regarding wolf hunting

Michigan Wolf Management Advisory Council heard public comment Tuesday.
Michigan Wolf Management Advisory Council heard public comment Tuesday.(WLUC)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 7:21 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Wolf Management Advisory Council invited public comment regarding the preservation and hunting of wolves in the U.P.

This meeting came after a U.S. district judge from California ordered gray wolves back on the endangered species list in February. This forced Michigan to suspend two laws allowing dog and livestock owners to kill wolves posing a threat to their animals.

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Wildlife Biologist Erin Johnson said wolves have a right to live in their natural habitat.

“The Anishinaabe cultural values of wolves support the idea that wolves have intrinsic values and are ready to occupy their traditional lands,” Johnson said.

12 public speakers at the meeting spoke in favor of suspending wolf hunting in the state. Meanwhile, two spoke in favor of upholding wolf hunting.

Marquette County Resident George Nyquist argued that wolves eat young moose, and controlling the population could protect them.

“There is a tribal study that is going on in Minnesota on the western bank of Lake Superior,” Nyquist said. “It shows that 8 out of 10 moose calves are eaten in the first two weeks of life.”

Marquette County Resident Nancy Warren argued against Nyquist’s claim. Warren said a DNR study actually proves that the moose population in Minnesota is the highest since 2011. The DNR estimated that Michigan’s wolf population is around 600 as of 2020.

“Wolves target the most vulnerable of any species, including the young, the old and those with a medical issue,” Warren said.

In addition, Warren added that wolves pose a minimal threat to livestock such as cows.

“Wolves and bears do target calves, but the population remains stable including the calf to cow ratio,” Warren said.

It is currently federally illegal to kill wolves unless they are a direct and immediate threat to human life. A wolf kill in Michigan must be reported to the DNR.

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