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Bills legalizing wolf hunting making their way through the legislature

Tracy Brooks/Mission Wolf/USFWS
Michigan's gray wolf population is estimated to be 687 animals. The recovery goal for the population is between 250-300 wolves.

Wolf hunting is back on the agenda for Michigan’s legislature. The Senate passed a bill Thursday that would legalize wolf hunting in Michigan, if the animal is taken off the federal endangered species list.

Similar legislation was struck down by voters in the past. But Senator Tom Casperson said those statewide votes don’t really reflect the needs of those dealing with wolves in their backyard.

“We had the cities go against us, the major cities – Detroit did as an example – they’re not dealing with the wolves. Grand Traverse went against us – they’re not dealing with the wolf,” he said. “If you take a look at the counties that supported us, it was the rural areas that deal with this kind of stuff.”

But Director of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign, Jill Fritz disagrees. She said, “People of Michigan have voted on this. They’ve made their position very clear.”

Frtiz argued, “Why is the Legislature taking up valuable time and appropriations to try to force wolf hunting legislation on its citizens?”

The bill contains an appropriation – which would make it immune to a referendum vote.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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