Monday, March 11, 2013

DNR to host public information meetings on wolf management

LANSING -- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host a series of public meetings in March to provide information to the public and answer questions regarding wolf management and the possibility of a future wolf hunting season.

The meetings will take place in the following locations from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time:

Tuesday, March 12: Gogebic Community College, David Lindquist Student Center, E4946 Jackson Road, Ironwood

Wednesday, March 13: Northern Michigan University, Michigan Room, 2101 University Center, Marquette

Tuesday, March 19: Wisconsin Street Hall, 610 S. Wisconsin, Gaylord

Thursday, March 21: Lansing Center, Room 201, 333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

The meetings will include a presentation by DNR Wildlife Division staff on wolf management techniques, including the potential use of public harvest as a management tool as prescribed in the state’s Wolf Management Plan, which was developed through consensus by a roundtable of stakeholders representing a wide variety of interests related to wolf management.

Following the presentation, DNR staff will hold a question-and-answer session with members of the public. Meeting attendees will also be asked to participate in a survey regarding the possibility of the use of wolf hunting as a management tool in Michigan.

"The public input we receive through this survey will provide valuable information as the Wildlife Division develops its recommendation on wolf hunting for consideration by the Natural Resources Commission," said DNR bear and furbearer specialist Adam Bump. "We encourage anyone interested in learning more about wolf management and a possible wolf hunting season to attend these meetings to have their questions answered and participate in the survey."

In January 2012, wolves in Michigan were removed from the federal list of endangered species. In December 2012, wolves were declared a game species when Gov. Rick Snyder signed Public Act 520 of 2012.

Upon the reclassification of wolves as a game species, the Michigan Natural Resources Commission (NRC) -- which holds the exclusive authority to set hunting regulations for game species in the state -- directed the DNR's Wildlife Division to undertake a multi-pronged approach to developing a recommendation on whether a wolf management hunt should take place and what the parameters should be. The process currently under way includes:
  •  Completing a wolf population survey
  •  Compiling a thorough review of documented wolf conflicts, including depredation of livestock and pets
  •  Meeting with the Wolf Management Advisory Council to discuss a possible wolf harvest aimed at resolving conflicts
  •  Providing public input opportunities at meetings and through written comments
  •  Conducting government-to-government consultation with tribal governments 
The DNR's recommendation on a wolf management season will be presented to the NRC for consideration no later than June 2013. Whether a wolf season will be established and what the season would entail is at the sole discretion of the NRC.

For more information about attending this series of public information meetings, contact Adam Bump at 517-373-1263. To learn more about the state's wolf population and Wolf Management Plan, visit www.michigan.gov/wolves.

Please note: A tentative meeting date for Newberry has been removed from the schedule of March meetings due to the potential for additional meetings later this spring. Dates and locations for any additional meetings will be announced once determined.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

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