Saying YES to State Based Natural Resource Management

Saying YES to State Based Natural Resource Management
Saying YES to State Based Natural Resource Management
Glen Wunderlich
Glen Wunderlich

Lansing, Michigan – -(  Michigan and other states, as well, understand wild game management.

In fact, by virtue of how well wildlife is managed is demonstrated in one word: sustainability.

Nowhere in the history of regulated hunting has game suffered at the hands of hunting to the point that any game species has been threatened with extinction. Thoughtful leaders have adhered to the strict guidelines of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and dutifully brought back countless wild animals from the brink of being wiped out.

Such is the case with the Great Lakes wolves.

Yet, federal judge Beryl Howell has ruled that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) could not de-list wolves under its distinct population segment rule, in part, because Congress had never manifested an intent to approve the use of the distinct population segments for de-listing a species, though the rule could be used to list species.

This inane notion is summed up by Evan Heusinkveld, vice president of government affairs for the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance in this manner:

“It’s unfortunate that we have to continue to fight this legal battle. There is no doubt that wolves in the region have recovered, but to hold their management in those states hostage until wolves are reestablished in Central Park in New York City is ludicrous and we will continue to fight it.”

And, the fight is on for states’ rights to scientifically manage wildlife found within their borders. A new bill, H.R. 884 introduced in the U.S. Congress this past week and cosponsored by members of Congress from the affected states from both sides of the aisle, would transfer management of recovered gray wolf populations back to state wildlife agencies in Wyoming and the Great Lakes region. This gloves-off tactic emanates from a lawsuit brought by Humane Society of the United States; Born Free, USA; Help Our Wolves Live; and Friends of Animals and Their Environment.

At issue is man’s traditional relationship with animals unfettered by the deceptiveness of those that profit from romanticizing the role of an apex predator such as the wolf. It’s not about emotion; it’s biologically sound science and has been the basis for not only the restoration of threatened species, but their enduring future, as well.

No doubt, there are extremists on both sides: Some may prefer to eradicate wolves, because of the manner in which they’ve decimated big game species and livestock, and thus their livelihoods; on the other hand, are those that prefer a hands-off approach allowing Mother Nature to sort it all out, while lining the pocketbooks and padding pensions of internal opportunists.

Michigan United Conservation Clubs was part of the Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management coalition, which prompted the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, passed by the Michigan legislature last year and will take effect in March 2015. It would allow the Natural Resources Commission to designate game species using sound science, which undoubtedly includes wolves if H.R. 884 passes at the national level.

Being good stewards of our natural resources involves wise management to get to the truth that lies between the extremes. And, in this instance, the middle ground is the higher ground.


About Glen WunderlichCharter Member Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA). Outdoor writer and columnist for The Argus-Press ( and blog site at  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).