Lansing, Michigan - -(Ammoland.com)- When it comes to wildlife management, common sense dictates that such matters are best left to states’ control as opposed to that of federal agencies.
But, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) doesn’t agree and will stop at nothing to further its agenda against hunting and has filed a federal lawsuit to drag us all into the mud, once again.
This time around, its focus is on Michigan’s wolves.
Wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan were removed from the Endangered Species List because they had far exceeded their recovery goals in the region and, by definition, are no longer “endangered.” Gray wolves number more than 4,000 in the Great Lakes prior to delisting in January 2012. Minnesota had an estimated population of 3,000, while Wisconsin and Michigan had about 850 and 700 respectively. The removal of wolves from federal protection followed several years of litigation and returned responsibility for managing wolf populations to the states.
However, Jonathan Lovvorn, chief counsel for animal protection litigation at HSUS, said the decision to turn management over to the states, “…paves the way for the same state-sponsored eradication policies that pushed this species to the brink of extinction in the first place.”
Really? Then why did Michigan abolish its bounty system in 1960 and grant wolves protection in 1965, well before the enactment of the Endangered Species Act of 1973? In fact, the only type of hunt even being considered now is a regulated management hunt with a quota of 47 wolves commensurate with the level of nuisance complaints and depredation events – a far cry from eradication.
To counter legal maneuvering by HSUS, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) has filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit, and if granted, its positions will be given consideration in a Washington, U.S. District Court.
David Allen, RMEF president and CEO states“There is no science that supports these claims [that wolves should remain protected] and wolf experts like Dr. David Mech, founder of the International Wolf Center, have already stated that regulated hunting by states will not negatively affect the states’ wolf populations.”
Allen went on to say that “In fact there is very recent credible evidence in both Idaho and Montana that regulated hunting and trapping of gray wolves is not harming the overall wolf population, as both states have the autonomy to manage their wolf populations and they are using best science practices.”
Back on the home front, the Michigan Senate has passed SB 288 and SB 289 which uphold the will of the people through 1996’s Proposal G to manage wildlife using sound science. In 1996, Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved Proposal G, a referendum on Public Act 377 of 1996, which amended the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA) to grant the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) exclusive authority to regulate the taking of game in the State, and require the NRC to use principles of sound scientific management in making decisions regarding the taking of game.
Accordingly, legislation in Michigan was enacted in 2012 to declare wolves a game species, allow the Legislature to authorize the establishment of the first open season for the animal, and permit the NRC to issue orders establishing annual wolf hunting seasons throughout the State. Wolf hunting opponents then launched a petition drive to compel a statewide referendum on the legislation.
An analysis, as reported by committee, warns that the situation has raised concerns about the extent to which electors should be directly involved in natural resource decisions; the appropriate use of the referendum; and the potential influence of money and out-of-state interests in Michigan’s affairs – all of which flies in the faces of those that thought such tactics would end in 1996 with Proposal G.
So, the challenge remains: Science versus emotion.
About Glen Wunderlich
Charter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press (www.argus-press.com) and blog site at www.thinkingafield.org Member National Rifle Association (NRA), Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), member U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Commemorative Bucks of Michigan (CBM). Adjutant of Perry, Michigan Sons of Amvets Post 4064 and Chairman Perry (MI) Youth Hunt Extravaganza, a sanctioned event of Perry Sons of Amvets held the fourth weekend of September each year.
Read more at Ammoland.com: http://www.ammoland.com/2013/04/beating-the-ongoing-ammunition-shortage/#ixzz2SKR06b3h