Wolves, pup and adult, 2015. (File Photo © Rolf Peterson and courtesy Michigan Tech University.)
HOUGHTON -- The National Park Service (NPS) invites the public to participate in upcoming informational open houses and webinars regarding the proposed draft plan determining whether and how to bring wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The plan and alternatives are described in the draft Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves on Isle Royale (draft EIS), released on Dec. 16, 2016, and can be found here: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/is rowolves.
The draft plan/EIS evaluates three action alternatives to bring wolves to the island, as well as the no-action alternative of not bringing wolves to the island. The National Park Service draft preferred alternative is Alternative B, which calls for the immediate introduction of 20 - 30 wolves over a three year period. The goal of this alternative is to provide an immediate introduction of wolves that has the potential to be self-sustaining.
Under Alternative C, the National Park Service would immediately introduce 6-15 wolves with the potential for subsequent introductions over a 20-year period in order to maintain a wolf population in the park.
Alternative D provides the National Park Service time to continue to monitor conditions. No immediate action would be taken but the alternative allows for future introductions of wolves. The decision to introduce in the future would be based on moose population metrics and other observed changes in the ecosystem.
The public open houses will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Duluth, Minn., and on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Houghton. A short presentation will start at 4:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer period and open house.
The open house meetings will be held at the following locations:
• Duluth, Minnesota -- Feb. 14 at Pier B Resort, 800 West Railroad Street
• Houghton, Michigan -- Feb. 15 at Magnuson Franklin Square Inn, 820 Shelden Avenue
In order to maximize opportunities to learn more about the draft plan/EIS, webinars are scheduled for 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) Thursday, Feb. 16, and from 7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) Tuesday, Feb. 21. To obtain more information about the open houses and to register for the webinars, click here.
In addition to the open houses, the public is invited to submit written comments. Click here to comment. Comments may also be submitted through March 15, 2017, via regular mail or hand delivery at: Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park, ISRO Wolves, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896.