Board of State Canvassers Certifies Petition Signatures to Place Wolf Hunt Referendum on 2014 Ballot

Meanwhile, Governor, Legislature and NRC move forward with senseless slaughter of wolves
LANSING, Mich. – Action by the Board of State Canvassers today to certify petition signatures gathered by Keep Michigan Wolves Protected (KMWP) to place a wolf hunting referendum on the November 2014 ballot serves as another reminder of the abuse of power at the hands of Gov. Rick Snyder, the legislature and the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to silence the voice of Michiganders who signed the petitions to stop the senseless slaughter of wolves.
“Following the submission of more than 255,000 signatures , the Board of State Canvassers upheld its responsibility to the people of Michigan by certifying our petition drive to place the wolf hunting referendum on the November 2014 ballot,” said Jill Fritz, director of KMWP. “How will Gov. Snyder, the legislature and NRC explain to Michigan’s 7.2 million registered voters that wolves are being needlessly slaughtered and their votes won’t count? We will continue our tireless struggle to stop wolf hunting and trapping in Michigan and fight for the return of the democratic process for voters.”
KMWP submitted more than 255,000 petition signatures on March 27 to suspend Public Act 520 – a law that was rushed through last December’s lame duck legislative session and signed by the Governor to classify wolves as a game species – until a referendum vote in November 2014.
Two weeks later, Senate Bill 288 was introduced and fast-tracked through the legislative process in 23 days and signed by Gov. Snyder on May 8, before the Board of State Canvassers could certify signatures of registered voters from every corner of the state, essentially nullifying the petition effort. 
S.B. 288 empowers the NRC, a politically-appointed seven person panel, to designate animals as game species without legislative or voter oversight. Michigan voters would be unable to reverse decisions of the NRC because it is a regulatory body. This legislation has resulted in Michigan’s 7.4 million registered voters losing their right to decide whether to protect Michigan’s fragile population of 658 wolves in the November 2014 election.
On May 9, the NRC voted 6-1 to establish a wolf hunting and trapping season in three areas of the Upper Peninsula between November 15 and December 31. 
KMWP is committed to protecting Michigan’s wolves. KMWP will continue to support this ballot referendum and is considering other options, including another referendum campaign to place S.B. 288 on the ballot in November 2014.
Michigan’s wolf population has decreased from 687 to 658, according the latest census by the Department of Natural Resources.

More than 2,000 Michigan residents from the Upper and Lower Peninsulas volunteered for Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a coalition of animal welfare groups, conservationists, veterinarians, Native American tribes and faith leaders, to gather more than 255,000 signatures during sub-freezing temperatures in just 67 days.

Despite the wolf population's fragile status and over the objections of renowned Michigan-based wolf scientists, the Michigan legislature rushed a bill through in December 2012, opening the door to the same practices that virtually eradicated the wolf population in the first place.

Wolves are extremely shy and have a natural fear of humans. In the past 100 years, there has never been a verified attack by a wolf on a human in the lower 48 states.

Current state law already allows farmers and dog owners to remove or shoot wolves that are attacking their animals, and farmers may obtain a permit from the DNR to remove additional wolves following a depredation incident. Fewer than eight percent of the Upper Peninsula’s farms have reported any wolf depredations in the past 17 years.


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Press Releases: Dec 14, 2016

In the 2014 general election, Michigan voters soundly rejected two referendums on the trophy hunting and trapping of the state’s small population of wolves. But now, the Michigan legislature has rushed through another bill, SB 1187, to once again designate wolves as a game species to be hunted and trapped—in spite of that public rejection of an almost identical measure at the ballot box just two years ago...


Keep Wolves Protected is endorsed by a number of organizations and citizens including:

  • Kalamazoo Humane Society
  • Pamela Graves, DVM
  • Detroit Audubon Society
  • Michigan Animal Shelter Rescue Network
  • Aaron Payment, Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians
  • Voiceless-MI
  • Humane Society of Huron Valley
  • Detroit Zoological Society


All Endorsements