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Environment & Climate Change

If wolves are removed from the endangered species list, hunting them will be legal in Michigan

Wolf prints in the snow.
Rolf Peterson
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Wolf prints in the snow.

Don’t grab your rifle just yet. Wolves are still on the federal endangered species list, so the law won’t take effect until they’re removed.

A 2014 state law allowing wolf hunting was recently struck down by the Michigan Court of Appeals on a technicality.

And at the polls, voters have said “no” to similar legislation multiple times.

Jill Fritz is the director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.

“We’re appalled at the open contempt for Michigan voters that Governor Snyder demonstrated by signing this third wolf hunting bill into law,” Fritz says.

Proponents of the legislation say it’s needed to deal with the wolf population in places like the Upper Peninsula.

Anna Heaton is a spokesperson for the governor. She says his decision to sign the bill was based wasn’t about supporting wolf hunting. Rather, it was about science.

“There are legitimate instances of danger to humans and danger to livestock,” Heaton said. “This was something that he took into consideration that okay this is an actual problem and the natural resources commission needs to be able to regulate it.”

The law contains a small appropriation to fight Asian carp and other aquatic invasive species – which will make it immune to a referendum vote. 

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