To the Journal editor:
I am not surprised by the reply to my letter entitled, "Clear policy needed." (The author) represented the Defenders of Wildlife on the Wolf Management Roundtable. They are an intolerant and uncompromising animal protectionist organization.
Two of (the author's) statements are false. For example:
"We only accepted the harvest of wolves by licensed hunters and trappers as a possible tool to reduce wolf-related conflicts under specific conditions."
However, she was one of only six like-minded Roundtable members who voted against a proposal to allow the public hunting and trapping for management purposes. As for their support for lethal control, it is not without a lot of if's, ands or buts.
"I believe Mr. Hongisto was incorrect when he implied that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources must establish a wolf hunting season."
I never implied that. The DNR doesn't have the authority to establish a wolf hunting season. That is the role of the Natural Resources Commission.
Referring to the DNR, I wrote. "Failure to do their job is a slap in the face to the legislature and the governor who signed the law classifying the Wolf as a game species and authorizing the Natural Resources Commission to set harvest seasons."
Four animal protection/animal rights groups were represented on the Roundtable. They are the Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, the Michigan Humane Society and the Timber Wolf Alliance. Animal protection is their raison' d'etre.
As for the DNR inviting two Indian tribes and these groups to participate in our discussions, it was clear from the beginning that you cannot work with people on a wildlife management plan who are fundamentally opposed to the purpose of wildlife management.
That, along with the consensus rule, are the reasons why the Wolf Management Plan is deeply, if not fatally, flawed.
The proof of this became apparent, when anti-hunting groups, including the Sierra Club, which was represented on the Roundtable, filed a lawsuit to overturn the recently enacted Wolf Law. They are also collecting signatures to put this issue on the 2014 election ballot.
Their unyielding opposition to the killing of animals should have disqualified these groups from serving on the Wolf Management Roundtable in the first place.
Politics does indeed make for strange bedfellows.