To the Journal editor:
I support the "Keep Michigan Wolves Protected" effort to repeal Public Act 520 of 2012, naming the gray wolf a game animal.
On rare occasion, when wolves threaten livestock or pets, current law allows for their elimination. The referendum would not change this or stop the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from addressing problems and/or issuing landowner permits. It simply asks voters to repeal PA 520.
If the DNR were to start out with a conservative hunting approach, to which they have recently alluded, there is no guarantee that this would continue beyond one season. Example: Minnesota enacted wolf hunting in 2012; 412 wolves were killed.
Wisconsin even allows wolf hunting with packs of dogs. Numerous Yellowstone wolves have been killed, including many studied by biologists. Little to no restraint is shown wherever wolf hunting is legal.
It seems that the war on wolves is the result of misinformation, hate/fear mongering and political agendas, not science. Interest in true wolf management has shifted from preservation to elimination.
There is greater emphasis on money from hunting/trapping fees and predator contests than conservation of this valuable member of our ecosystem. Why has Wildlife Management become Recreational Hunting?
Yellowstone studies have proven wolves' tremendous value to the environment. We need to protect all top predators to ensure a healthy ecosystem and preserve wildlife for future generations. A much higher value must be placed on our wildlife and their habitats. All species have intrinsic value.
Hunting wolves would have a grave effect on Michigan's ecosystem and cause imbalance among various species. Wolves are pack animals that form lifelong bonds. Disruption through hunting and inhumane trapping could increase conflicts with humans and livestock.
In their natural habitat, wolves pose no threat. They prey mainly on sick and injured deer, beaver, snowshoe hares, rodents and other small animals. They also eat insects, berries and grasses.
We do not eat wolves. As a game animal, they would be killed for fun and sport, which I completely oppose.
There is no scientific evidence to establish a wolf hunt. We need to practice wildlife stewardship with logic and balanced cohabitation skills rather than complete or near annihilation of this beautiful, unique animal.
Let's move forward using principles of conservation and preservation, not elimination. Allowing wolf hunting will result in massacre, not management. I urge you to join in efforts to repeal Public Act 520.