Governor Snyder is urged to Veto Legislation that could Threaten Fragile Wolf Population
Governor should uphold democratic principles and stop anti-wildlife measure from becoming law
LANSING, Mich. – Following approval today of legislation rammed through the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives in just 23 days, the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected (KMWP) coalition is urging Governor Rick Snyder to uphold democratic principles and veto a bill that is designed to circumvent a referendum vote to protect the state’s wolf population.
If signed into law, SB 288 would result in Michigan’s 7.4 million registered voters losing their right to decide whether to protect Michigan’s declining population of 658 wolves in the November 2014 election. SB 288 was fast-tracked through the legislative process to prevent the Board of State Canvassers from certifying signatures from registered voters in every corner of the state, which would suspend the wolf hunting law until voters could decide the matter on the November 2014 ballot. SB 288 would empower a politically-appointed panel of seven persons, to designate animals as game species without voter oversight.
“Now is the time for Governor Snyder to stand up for the voters of Michigan, to uphold our fundamental democratic principles, and veto SB 288. The legislature wants to silence the voice of Michigan voters, circumvent the democratic process, and nullify the more than 255,000 signatures submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office. We encourage everyone who values their right to vote, and those who want to protect wolves from needless hunting and trapping, to contact Governor Snyder and tell him to veto SB 288,” said Jill Fritz, director of KMWP.
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a broad-based, statewide coalition created to place a 2012 wolf-hunting law to a statewide referendum vote, held a rally on the Capitol steps last week and volunteers went door-to-door across the state this past weekend to stop SB 288. The Humane Society of the United States, a KMWP coalition member, on Monday launched a new TV ad across the state http://youtu.be/_H0NzKOytzU) denouncing the bill.
The bill, introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba), allows the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to add animals to the list of game species to be hunted and trapped. Michigan voters would be unable to reverse decisions of the NRC because it is a regulatory body and not the Legislature.
- The Department of Natural Resources announced recently that according to its 2012 survey, Michigan’s wolf population decreased from 687 to 658 during the year.
- 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 signatures during sub-freezing temperatures in just 67 days.
- After being hunted to the brink of extinction for decades and more than forty years of protection, there are fewer than 700 wolves in Michigan.
- 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.