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Wolf hunting a signature away from becoming legal

Gray wolf
Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians
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Wolves are on the federal endangered species list. If they are ever taken off the list, the legislation would allow them to be hunted. 

Two years ago, voters rejected wolf hunting in a statewide referendum. Another effort to allow wolf hunting was struck down in court.

Senator Tom Casperson is the bill’s sponsor. He says the majority of voters who decided the issue, live downstate and don’t have to deal with the wolves on a daily basis. Casperson says that’s not fair and, “I just reject that out of hand. I mean, come on up and see what we’re dealing with, and then make your decision.”

State Representative Scott Dianda offered an amendment that would send half of the Upper Peninsula wolves to the Lower Peninsula. He said that might give downstate opponents of wolf hunting a different perspective 

“It’s Christmas time and us Yoopers share the wealth,” he said. “Everybody should enjoy what we have.”

But the Humane Society and other advocates disagree. Jill Fritz is the director of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign.  She says voters have made it clear they oppose wolf hunting.

“It’s unbelievable that the Legislature is now trying for a fourth time to force wolf hunting legislation on a public that clearly does not want it,” she said.          

The Humane Society has already launched a campaign urging Governor Snyder to veto the bill.

The bill also contains an appropriation of $1 million dollars to fight Asian carp. That appropriation makes the bill immune to another 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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