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Coalition seeks to reverse Michigan's wolf hunt law

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The wolf population in Michigan is now being controlled by the state. In Minnesota, officials are considering a hunting season.

The group trying to reverse Michigan’s new law that allows a wolf-hunting season in the Upper Peninsula unveiled its campaign coalition today.

It includes the Humane Society and other animal rights groups, as well as Michigan’s American Indian tribes. The coalition is trying to put a referendum on the 2014 ballot.

Aaron Payment is the chair of the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He said a wolf hunt would be an affront to tribal culture.

“In our tradition, in our culture, we believe that the wolf is our brother. And, I don’t mean this to sound very mystical, but in our long-standing tradition, we believe that what happens to the wolf, eventually happens to us,” said Payment.

Payment said a wolf hunt could also violate a 2007 agreement between Indian tribes and the state of Michigan.

Supporters of the law say state wildlife officials should be allowed to use limited hunting as a wolf-management tool. The gray wolf was removed from the endangered species list in Michigan last year.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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