State wolf plan to be updated
As the dust settled from the elections, wolf protectionists have been reaching around and patting themselves on the back for helping to defeat two ballot proposals with the belief that they’ve done something to protect these animals.
While the passage of the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act earlier this fall made those two ballot questions inconsequential, the Humane Society of the United States and Keep Michigan Wolves Protected urged “no” votes anyway to stir up the emotions of the electorate and keep the donation machine cranking.
So while the HSUS-backers crow about their non-victory, here’s a way you can really make a difference with Michigan wolves, if you care to do so. The Department of Natural Resources is looking for comments as it updates the Michigan Wolf Management Plan, which was formed in 2008. The deadline for comments in the first phase is Dec. 11.
The interesting thing about the state’s wolf management plan is that the Humane Society and other groups such as Michigan Indian tribes were part of the formation of the original plan; although the way they talk about it now, many don’t seem to remember participating.
The plan still seeks to maintain the state’s wolf population while minimizing wolf-related conflicts and conducting “science-based and socially acceptable management of wolves.” The state says it will maintain these goals in the updated plan, but it will review scientific literature for new information, evaluate and update action items, address outdated information and make clarifications.
After this first phase of comments, the DNR will offer a 30-day comment period on its updated draft plan before the Natural Resources Commission acts on it. The updated plan should be completed by this spring – right about the time that the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act takes effect.
If you’re interested in making your voice heard, the DNR has set up a survey at this link: www.surveymonkey.com/s/wolfplanupdate