Petition for Scientific Wolf Management in Michigan
- Michigan NRC
- United States of America
Support our petition to manage the population of gray wolves in Michigan. The gray wolf has been delisted from the endangered species list in the Great Lakes region. Gray wolves in the Michigan were considered recovered when above viable population targets of 200 for five consecutive years. They have been at that level or higher for over two decades. They currently number close to 700 by DNR minimum estimates and over 600 for the past five years. A DNR biologist has said they have likely reached their "carrying capacity" of 600 to 700 wolves in the upper peninsula. The Michigan National Resources Commission needs to stand up to both those who want every wolf dead and to those who don’t want a single wolf in the entire nation to be killed for any reason. We advocate to have the Michigan DNR manage wolves to a sustainable number that takes into account both the sustainability of the species and to keep wolf-human conflicts minimal. The time for a reduction in the wolf population to a scientifically controlled level is NOW.
The Case for Scientific Wolf Management in Michigan
Continued Commitment to Sound Management
Beginning in the early 1990s, the state of Michigan established a firm commitment to the protection and management of wolves. An annual "Michigan Wolf Awareness Week" observed during the month of October, was established in 1992. Additionally, DNR Director Roland Harmes appointed a 10-member Michigan Gray Wolf Recovery Team in July 1992, which he charged with the task of developing a wolf recovery plan for Michigan. The "Michigan Gray Wolf Recovery and Management Plan" was completed and signed by the Director on December 15, 1997.
Estimated at only 20 animals in 1992, the Upper Peninsula wolf population has grown to near 700 animals recently.
Federal delisting criteria required a combined Michigan/Wisconsin population of 100 wolves for five consecutive years for delisting to occur. The Michigan/Wisconsin combined population has exceeded 100 wolves every year since 1994, and currently numbers more than 1,500 wolves. The Michigan Wolf Recovery and Management Plan (1997) defined a viable population as 200 animals for five consecutive years to allow removal from the state endangered species list. The Michigan wolf population has exceeded 200 animals for more than two decades.
What Happened to Scientific Management?
The DNR made a firm commitment to the scientific management of Michigan wolves to both preserve the existence of wolves in Michigan for future generations – and then to manage those wolves at sustainable levels that protected the wolves themselves from attaining populations that exceeded the available prey or led to increases in disease among wolves. The no management option is not a scientific option.
An unmanaged wolf population causes “intolerable” conflicts with farmers and outdoorsmen that think they have to take matters into their own hands. The DNR has increased investigation, prosecution and fines of wolf poaching cases –to protect the population until state wolf management is allowed. Other wolf-human conflicts include:
• Houndsmen have had to avoid many of their favorite spots because hunting hounds were getting killed.
• Several U.P. trappers are reporting that they have to release an average of 4-5 wolves for every 25 to 30 coyotes they harvest, many with assistance of DNR personnel (and releasing a 100# wolf from a trap is not their favorite outdoor activity!).
• Bikers, hikers and others are afraid to get out to some of their favorite areas without a 357 magnum, or similar side-arm on their hip.
• From 1996-2020, 142 dogs were killed or injured by wolves. According to the DNR about 77% were hunting dogs, which generally get reported – but how many pets just disappeared from their yards?
• Livestock are being killed and farmers sometimes have a difficult time proving a wolf was the cause and receiving just compensation.
• Whitetail deer are nearly depleted in some areas with high concentrations of wolf packs.
• The list goes on.
The need for a managed, yet sustainable reduction in wolf numbers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan seems obvious to most outdoorsman and yet very little could be done up to now because of federal listing in the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
What is the Solution?
Wolves are fully recovered in Michigan (they have been for many years) and are now federally delisted. The time for scientific management by Michigan is NOW. The time for hunting and trapping seasons for wolves is NOW. The time for a reduction in the wolf population to a scientifically controlled level is NOW.
It seems so simple to those of us who love and enjoy the great outdoors. The Michigan National Resources Commission needs to stand up to both those who want every wolf dead and to those who don’t want a single wolf in the entire nation to be killed for any reason. The Michigan NRC needs to do what they have been charged to do: To manage Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources on the basis of sound scientific wildlife and fisheries management as required under the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (PA 281 of 2014) and based on the foundation of Proposal G of 1996. There is plenty of time in 2021 to set a limited season similar to the last one in 2013, including trapping this time as well as hunting over the entire Upper Peninsula. Without trapping, eliminating problem animals and achieving meaningful population goals will not only be handicapped but unlikely to be met. Any additional surveys and updates to the current wolf plan should be done in conjunction with a 2021 wolf season.
Support for this Simple Solution is Widespread!
All of the individuals and organizations below who have signed on to this “simple” solution want Michigan’s wolf management to be taken out of politics, personal agendas, the fundraising and “pseudo-science” of those organizations who profess to be protecting animals but are just getting rich and doing nothing to protect critical habitat or population sustainability.
We, the undersigned, want the great State of Michigan to once again manage ALL of our natural resources (including wolves) according to the best available science. Management must include all available tools including both trapping and hunting to achieve population goals.
You can further help this campaign by sponsoring it
The Petition for Scientific Wolf Management in Michigan petition to Michigan NRC was written by UP Trappers Association and is in the category Wildlife Conservation at GoPetition.