Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is a coalition of conservation groups, animal welfare organizations, Native American tribes, wildlife scientists, faith groups, veterinarians, hunters, farmers, and concerned Michigan citizens. Our goal is to restore protections to Michigan’s small wolf population and restore the rights of voters to have a meaningful say on important wildlife issues.
Wolves in Michigan were stripped of their federal protections in January of 2012. There are currently an estimated 636 wolves in Michigan -- that is down over 50 wolves from population estimates just two years ago. It’s already legal to kill wolves when they threaten livestock, pets, or human safety. Wolves causing any problems can already be controlled. There is no scientific justification to have a trophy hunt for wolves.
Responsible hunters eat what they kill, and nobody eats wolves. Methods such as painful steel-jawed leghold traps, hunting over bait, and even using packs of dogs to chase down wolves have been used in neighboring states, and they may also be in store for Michigan’s wolves.
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected collected signatures for two separate referendums in order to allow the voters of Michigan to exercise their constitutional right to veto two laws passed by the legislature and signed by the governor. The first bill would have designated wolves as a game species to be hunted for trophies, and the second bill would have granted unprecedented power to the politically-appointed Natural Resources Commission to name almost any protected animal -- including the wolf -- as a game species.
In November of 2014, voters in Michigan rejected both laws and have resoundingly stated that they don’t support the trophy hunting or trapping of wolves, and they don’t want to cede authority on game species designation to an unelected group of political appointees.
In a contemptuous move to thwart the will of the voters, the legislature passed a third law, which goes into effect in the spring of 2015, once again granting the Natural Resources Commission the authority to designate wolves as a game species and to authorize a hunting season on them. In the November 2014 election, the people of Michigan made it clear that they don’t want wolves to be hunted for trophies, and don’t want to give the Natural Resources Commission the authority to open new hunting seasons on protected species. The Natural Resources Commission should honor the judgment rendered by voters come 2015.
A legal challenge is planned to challenge that law and protect Michigan’s wolves and voters from this overreach of government.