MUCC Statement on Anti-Hunting Initiative Regarding Wolf Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Tony Hansen, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, (269) 420-9510 thansen@mucc.org

Out-of-State Animal Rights Extremists At It Again

Washington-based Group Attempting To Override Michigan’s Democratic Process

LANSING – As expected, non-resident animal rights activists have announced their intent to challenge the authority of Michigan’s voters and legislators.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a front organization for the Washington D.C.-based animal rights extremist group, Humane Society of the United States, has announced its intent to use Michigan’s flawed ballot referendum process to attempt to prevent state-led, science-based wildlife management from taking place in Michigan.

The group will now attempt to place its second referendum on Public Act 21 of 2013 on Michigan’s ballot — despite the fact that the first referendum on Public Act 520 of 2012 is frivolous and has no impact on any current laws.

As required by the USFWS, Michigan submitted a management plan to illustrate how the state would manage wolves using science-based wildlife management to ensure the longevity of the species in Michigan. That  plan was approved by the USFWS and was endorsed by a diverse group of stakeholders and serves as a model for other states for managing wolves. While groups like the Michigan Humane Society and Sierra Club supported this plan when it was approved, which includes public hunting and trapping as a tool to address conflicts where and when necessary, these groups are now going back on their commitment to manage wolves based on the plan.

After several lawsuits by the Humane Society of the United States, Michigan’s wolf population was finally removed from the Endangered Species list in 2012. With a minimum population of nearly 700 wolves — far more than required for recovery status as determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — Michigan’s wolf population is a tremendous conservation success story and further proof that the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation is an effective, science-based wildlife management tool. Late last year, the Michigan legislature designated wolves a game species and cleared the way for Proposal G and Michigan’s wolf management plan to be implemented.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected then appeared and spent more than $500,000 to place the measure on the ballot, including $350,000 with a California-based group paid to gather signatures.

In 1996, Michigan voters overwhelmingly supported the passage of Proposal G, which was a ballot measure requiring Michigan to use science when making wildlife management decisions. Ironically, that measure was the result of another anti-hunting initiative aimed at ending bear hunting in Michigan. The leader of that failed effort? Wayne Pacelle — current head of the Humane Society of the United States, the funding organization for the current attack on the rights of Michigan residents.

“This group has already shown that it has no concern for the time of Michigan’s voters and no respect for Michigan’s legislative process,” said Erin McDonough, Executive Director of MUCC. “They chose to continue with an initiative that was defeated — not once but twice — knowing that it will cost Michigan taxpayers money and will waste their time at the ballot box. And now they are attempting to run another referendum over an issue that voters have already decided on through Proposal G and was reaffirmed by our legislature through Public Act 21 of 2013. Clearly, they aren’t interested in what Michigan’s residents want. They are interested in one thing: Forcing everyone to follow their radical, animal rights agenda.”

In an effort to make sure that Michigan’s support of Proposal G was not tossed aside, the Legislature overwhelmingly approved the Scientific Wildlife Management Package (P.A. 21 of 2013) with bipartisan support. Yet, once again, the Humane Society of the United States has determined that Michigan’s residents and lawmakers just aren’t capable of making their own decisions.

“It’s time for Michigan’s residents to say enough is enough. We’ve had enough of these deep-pocket, animal rights radicals constantly trying to step in and force their views on us,” said McDonough. “If they truly are interested in the long-term viability of wolves in Michigan, they need to demonstrate that they understand science-based wildlife management and that they are interested in having a factual conversation about the issue instead of buying their way onto a ballot and conducting a campaign filled with lies, emotional rhetoric and outright deceit. They can’t do that because their concern is not for wolves. Only science-based management can maintain wolves in Michigan. This group’s concern is with forcing Michigan residents to believe in their animal rights agenda.”
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  • Rick G

    F the HSUS!

  • Bruce Welnetz

    Talk about lies, emotional rhetoric and deceit! The campaign is being run by Michigan residents, only registered voters can sign the petitions and only registered Michigan voters can circulate the petitions. Signatures were certified to challenge PA 520 but lawmakers with the backing of outside hunting groups, circumvented the democratic process by passing PA 21. This ballot initiative is about Michigan residents making decisions about the wildlife of our state. Are you saying citizens are smart enough to decide who should hold office, but not smart enough to decide wildlife issues? Proposal G allows for the NRC to develop ules/regulations governing a hunt. PA 21 gives them the authority to designate ANY species as game which is far different than the intent of Proposal G.

    • MUCC

      So it will be agreed that KMWP will NOT accept cash from Washington-based HSUS? And it will NOT accept cash from outside of Michigan? And it will NOT pay to have signature gathered? Get the group to admit publicly and let’s see where it ends up.

      • Bruce Welnetz

        Lets see, the legislation was shoved down our throats by RMEF, Safari Club International and NRA…last I looked they were all out of state interest groups. As a Michigan resident I will be contributing to the KMWP campaign and I am confident you will be contributing to one of the out-of-state interests in an attempt to block the democratic process.

        • Drew YoungeDyke

          The legislation was voted upon by the legislators elected by the people of Michigan, including a bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives that the people of Michigan just elected in November. And the most vocal advocates for the legislation were MUCC and our affiliate clubs, and we’re based right here in Michigan. Are you really a Michigan resident? If so, that would make you a distinct minority among KMWP contributors: http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/contrib_anls_res.cgi?doc_seq_no%3D373127%26doc_stmnt_year%3D2013%26com_id%3D516306%26doc_date_proc%3D++++++++++%26sched%3D%2A%26doc_type_code%3DQ3%26caller%3Dcf_online

          • Bruce Welnetz

            Yes, Gogebic County – When you look up the testimony for SB288, you will see RMEF & NRA some of the most powerful gun lobbyists (who run on fear) in the country. Dianda has lost a lot of support because of his vote which was based on misinformation put forth by groups such as MUCC.

          • KMWP lies to the people

            Actually Bruce Welnetz is none other than Nancy Warren of Ontonagon County. See how their lies just keep mounting higher and higher? They have to create fake accounts to further their anti hunting agenda. Liars.

          • kristilloyd

            There is no such thing as a “bi-partisan majority”, two parties cannot be a majority. RMEF and SCI are out of state organizations, but they are ok by you? At least the HSUS has an office in Michigan.

      • kristilloyd

        Let’s see…the NRC brought in people from MT, ID/MT, MN and you want to talk about an org that actually has a chapter IN Michigan? A little hypocritical, no?

  • Bruce Welnetz

    By the way, HSUS was not represented on the Wolf Roundtable and the roundtable approved using hunters in lieu of Wildlife Services. The plan states lethal means will not be used as a preventative measure. When conflicts occur, DNR takes immediate action – hunting is killing wolves that may be involved in a conflict.

  • Anna

    My, aren’t we getting desperate to spew so many lies! Michigan residents ran the campaign and only Michigan registered voters could sign the petition to protect Michigan wolves from the senseless slaughter and trophy hunt which by the way is not science based! You have no clue of what you are saying and nothing that you’ve said is indeed factual, quite the contrary! This is about destroying the democratic referendum process from voters acting as a balance to decisions made by politically appointed, non-elected, often special interest lobbyist influenced, bodies like the NRC.
    This is not about a group of animal activists but rather a very large group of Michigan voters who have the common sense to see that this hunt is politically driven! Two of Michigans leading wolf biologists were not consulted and both of them disagree with this hunt. Randomly killing wolves causes behavioral problems. Killing wolves that are doing nothing wrong is total b.s.! Wolves are a very important large predator and contribute largely to a healthy ecosystem. Laws are already in place to address problem wolves. Farmers also need to do their part in protecting their animals. The proposed hunt is nothing but a ruthless slaughter. It truly appears that “ethical” hunting has become a thing of the past.

    • Drew YoungeDyke

      Lie 1: “Michigan residents ran the campaign.” 90% of KMWP’s funding was from DC-based HSUS and its affiliate, Doris Day Foundation. California-based PCI Consultants was paid almost $350K for signature collection. Lie 2: “senseless slaughter” and “trophy hunt.” Only 43 wolves will be removed and only in areas with chronic depredation problems. The two goals are to reduce wolf density in those areas and to re-instill wolves’ wariness of humans through hunting pressure, not “trophies.” Lie 3: The biologists you reference did present to the NRC and one of their powerpoints is linked from the DNR website. Other biologists, including the DNR’s professional wildlife biologists and the most prominent wolf expert in the country, from Minnesota, disagreed with “your” biologist whose main points seemed to be that “wolves have feelings, too,” and claimed that the hunt was motivated by hate. Not exactly “biology.”

      • Anna

        ONLY Michigan registered voters could collect and or sign the petition. I was NOT paid to collect signatures! I live in Michigan. I am a registered voter here. Many Michigan voters were eager to sign the petition as evidenced by the amount of sigs collected. Killing wolves will not cause wolves to be wary of humans. Killing wolves randomly causes pack behavior to change in such a way that can produce conflict where non existed. Minnesota??? They are one of the worst offenders for senseless and random wolf slaughter. Hundreds of wolves were killed there just last year and you call this wolf management? We don’t need a biologist from Minnesota or any other state to tell us what to do in regards to the future of our wildlife. And yes, there are many wolf haters out there. The future of any wild animal should not be determined by some idiot who for some sick reason hates a particular animal. By the way, wolves and ALL animals DO have feelings. Are you so ignorant to suggest they do not?? Ethical hunters do not hunt for hatred of a particular animal and ethical hunters also value the role that individual animals have in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. While I was collecting signatures (unpaid by the way) I was amazed at the wolf haters comments as they walked by saying things like “kill them all”. Thankfully there are enough sane people around that value this animal and are willing to go to any length to protect the future of wolves. Michigan people DO care about the future of our wildlife as evidenced by the large number of sigs collected and wildlife is to be held in the public trust.

        • Drew YoungeDyke

          That’s my point: the vast majority of hunters don’t “hate” wolves – they think they should be managed biologically, not by emotions. I’m not suggesting that wolves don’t have feelings, just that’s hardly a biological reason not to hunt them or any other wildlife in need of management. We have laws prohibiting waste for all game species, wolves included. And to outlaw a hunt because of what you believe to be the internal motivations of people you don’t know is nonsense. And you obviously don’t know hunters. Judging by your rhetoric, you’ve already bought HSUS lies hook, line and sinker. Collecting a lot of signatures by telling people wolves will be “slaughtered,” shot from helicopters, etc, is hardly evidence they agree with you, only that they believed you when you lied to them. And if you volunteered, then you got shorted. They were paying others $3 per signature. And the campaign was run by out-of-staters; they were just required to get gullible and cash-strapped in-staters to do the footwork. But the vast majority of your talking points, materials, organization and funding came from ou-of-state anti-hunting organizations. http://miboecfr.nictusa.com/cgi-bin/cfr/exp_anls_res.cgi?doc_seq_no%3D373127%26doc_stmnt_year%3D2013%26com_id%3D516306%26doc_date_proc%3D++++++++++%26sched%3D1B%26doc_type_code%3DQ3%26caller%3Dcf_online

          • Anna

            I know a hand ful of “ethical” hunters and unfortunately had the pleasure (not) of meeting some real anti wolf hunters while out collecting sigs and they made it very clear that they would like to see all wolves killed. You are naive to think this is strictly about ethics. Also, I do not require payment to stand up for something I believe in nor did the many people that collected sigs in my area. And, Michigan voters should have the right to vote on the future of our wildlife which was exactly what the petition was driven for. They still had the option of placing their vote for or against a hunting season. This has nothing to do with HSUS as far as I am concerned. The wolf population we currently have in Michigan does not condone a wolf hunt. There are laws in place to swiftly take care of any problem wolves.

          • kristilloyd

            And just where is the “biology” in MI’s wolf hunt?

      • carlee87

        240,000 MI residents signed the petition. That has gotta worry you anti-wildlife wackos. hahaahah

      • kristilloyd

        The “chronic depredation problems” are on one farm out of 900 working farms in the UP. It is owned by an absentee owner who had the one remaining guard animal, out of 3 given to him by the DNR, removed due to poor body condition, the other two died while in his “care”. His farm has had 70% of the depredation in the UP…so much for chronic depredation.

  • Rork1

    “despite the fact that the first referendum on Public Act 520 of 2012 is frivolous and has no impact on any current laws”

    The author is perfectly aware that it would not have been frivolous if not for the passage of the subsequent law. Just one of many hallmarks of a propaganda mill. Mr Hansen has utterly discredited himself, again.

    “And now they are attempting to run another referendum over an issue that voters have already decided on” is an even bigger whopper.
    Look, we don’t like HSUS. But that doesn’t show sports wolf hunting is needed.

    • Drew YoungeDyke

      It’s not a “sports” or a “trophy” hunt. HSUS made that up because their polling told them non-hunters are more likely to vote against a “sports” or “trophy” hunt.They admitted that at their Ann Arbor kickoff for the first referendum. The DNR is very clear that the 2 goals are to reduce population density in problem areas and to re-instill wolves’ wariness of humans through public hunting pressure.

      • Rork1

        I want to distinguish between DNR or NWS or depredated citizens killing wolves and ordinary (sports) hunters doing it, not to quibble.

        • Drew YoungeDyke

          The DNR uses public hunters to achieve its wildlife management goals for every game species. And you have no idea what the motivations of public hunters are – sport, fur, wildlife management, property defense, just to help the DNR achieve its goals, for the challenge, to connect with nature – the internal motivations of hunters are as varied as there are hunters. So you’re going to try to outlaw a public hunt because of what you or HSUS believe to be the internal motivations of people you’ve never met? The DNR’s only purpose in authorizing the hunt is to reduce conflicts, so to call it a “sport” or “trophy” hunt is dishonest.

          • Rork1

            Drew, I’m saying I don’t care what we normal hunters are called, just that I needed some word for us. I’m not saying anything about hunter motivations. I’ll restate: ” But that doesn’t show a normal wolf hunting season is needed.”
            OK now?

          • Drew YoungeDyke

            Sure, except that you can’t get the public hunting pressure without public hunting, which is one of the goals of the hunt to increase wolves’ wariness of humans.

          • Bruce Welnetz

            Please site the scientific research to support your statement that public hunting will increase wolves’ wariness of humans. How does a dead wolf learn to fear humans? Do the pack mates learn fear because they witnessed their alpha leader killed? Maybe it’s the noise – no that can’t be it, livestock producers claim noise makers don’t work. I know, I know, the mere human presence, nah, that can’t be it either. Must be the hunter orange… MUCC, is all about science, so produce it.

          • Drew YoungeDyke

            Science is used to predict outcomes, Bruce, and the DNR biologists reviewed pack data, telemetry studies, flight distance data, etc., in crafting the regulations. You’re obviously not a hunter, as you’ve claimed, though, otherwise you would already know how hunting pressure works. MUCC is all about Michigan’s professional wildlife biologists making the decisions, and they’ve provided their recommendations through the order. We’ve gone over this a few times now, but just because you ignore the biologists’ recommendations doesn’t mean they didn’t use scientific data to reach them.

          • Bruce Welnetz

            I know about hunting pressure but I also know that man has done a good job at putting wildlife populations at risk (and even exterminating populations) due to over-hunting. If true that MUCC supports professional biologists making decisions, then how can you support PA 21 which gives the NRC a politically appointed body, which has only one member with a natural resources background, the authority to designate species as game animals. Also, we have two noted researchers whose comments were ignored…yet, those from other states, whose hunting season was not based on conflict resolution were supported. I just see so many inconsistencies within MUCC – very similar to those who deny global warming – very selective in the science you want to support. This whole process was pushed through too quickly. I would have liked to see an advisory made up only of current biologists/researchers – NO organizations. People on the ground, such as Brian, Dean, Rolf, John V, perhaps someone from Minnesota, Wisconsin – have them review the data, depredation, will hunting resolve conflicts etc. Then, have this advisory which would only need to meet once/twice make a recommendation citing the references to support the decisions.

          • Drew YoungeDyke

            The NRC has existed since 1921 as the head of the DNR and was created as a way to separate partisan politics from conservation decisions. What you’re describing is pretty much what happened – they took the recommendations from the DNR biologists, heard testimony from experts from Minnesota and Wisconsin, read testimony from John V, and made their decision that mirrored the recommendations of the DNR biologists and accounted for the Minnesota and Wisconsin experts. John V’s testimony was basically that we shouldn’t have any hunt because he thought it was based on “hate,” and if you’re basing a decision on biology, using one person’s conception of the internal motivations of others is hardly a valid use of “sound science.”

          • Bruce Welnetz

            Wow, Drew, do you really believe what you are saying or are you just paid to say it. It was the Wildlife guy from Montana who when asked whether hunting wolves increased social acceptance, answered no – those who hunt wolves do so, because of hate. John V was quoting him. Believe what you want, but the Commissioners are not bound by sound science, they pick and choose what science they want to accept. It is all politics – there may be a hunt in 2013 and 43 wolves may have to die but it is far from over – MUCC seems quite desperate, why are they so afraid to let the people vote?

          • Drew YoungeDyke

            http://wolfwatcher.org/2013/04/john-vucetichs-presentation-hunting-wolves/ No mention of anyone from Montana here, just that “hate is not a reason to hunt.” Agreed, but that’s not the reason a hunt is being considered. The NRC is bound by the law passed by Michigan citizens in 1996. It’s not all politics – it’s biology. HSUS tries to make it about politics and emotion because biology is not on their side. And the people of Michigan already voted in 1996 that game decisions should be made by the NRC and professional wildlife biologists, so we’re not afraid of anything. But it’s poor public policy to allow wildlife management decisions to be made on the basis of misleading 30-second commercials paid for by out-of-state special interest groups like HSUS with unlimited funds, rather than based on the recommendations of wildlife biologists, as NRC decisions are.

      • carlee87

        you anti-wildlife inbreds are scaried and worried because you know in 2014, the VOTERS of MI will vote to ban wolf hunting. The voters want their voices heard you anti-wildlife inbred. The legislature ignored the will of the people and they will pay in 2014 and wolf hunting WILL be banned in 2014. You anti-wildlife extremists are the MINORITY in MI.

        • Drew YoungeDyke

          Welcome back, carlee87! We’ve missed your posts. If every anti-hunter made the kind of comments you did, this would be over in a heartbeat.

          • carlee87

            You’re an anti-wildlife wacko. 2014 is right around the corner. ;)

      • carlee87

        It is a trophy hunt. Quit your lying. Wolf hunting will be banned in MI come 2014 and there is nothing you can do about it you wildlife hating redneck drew.

      • kristilloyd

        Will you eat wolf meat? If not, then it’s killing for sport, fun or for trophy. The DNR should re-think that statement…don’t wolves hear deer hunters, bird hunters, and others and are wolves still in the woods? Wolves do not learn by hearing bullets flying through the air, they do not have logical thoughts, they act on instinct. If you believe that statement then you need to do some serious re-thinking.

  • carlee87

    MUCC is an anti-wildlife organization. They and the right wing legislature tried to silence the voters of MI. BIG MISTAKE. This goes before the voters of MI in 2014 and do you know what is going to happen? Over 200,000 pissed off voters and more are going to sign off on banning wolf hunting in MI.

  • Yooper

    The MUCC’s spin throughout this article is not only dizzying but laughable. The governor and legislators, with MUCC’s steadfast support, are the ones who challenged the authority of Michigan voters!

    • Bruce Welnetz

      Pete & Yooper, better watch out! MUCC will ban you from their site – they only surround themselves with those of like minds. The blocked folks who disagree – it makes them think they have more support than they actually do.

      • Drew YoungeDyke

        Bruce, we keep letting you post because you don’t use profanity. The only posts we’ve deleted have been those containing profanity or personal threats. Trust me, we would have blocked you long ago if it was about disagreement.

  • carlee87

    240,000 Michigan voters were ignored. This WILL not happen in 2014. I promise you that MUCC. :)

  • NormMackey

    I was surprised at first that the MUCC resorted to the stars-and-stripes flag-waving banner claiming the bill’s intended purpose is to provide free hunting licenses to military personnel – the law which cynically eliminates the nominal $1 fee Michigan customarily charged for reduced fee licenses for military personnel to zero for political points, and reduces Michigan’s share of Pittman-Robertson Act monies distributed for every license; only paid licenses counting for that. But then I reflected, of course, that this is the reason the provision was in the bill to begin with, a “poison pill”.

    Samuel Johnson said “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel” in 1775 and it obviously still applies today. It would be interesting to have Michigan’s actual military personnel as a whole polled and asked if free licenses for them, instead of nominal $1 fee ones, should be used as an excuse for hunting wolves here or not, and give up the federal matching funds.

  • Rork1

    I wanna pile on a comment about the politics.

    I’m rather skeptical we could get voter approval of a wolf hunting season at this time. Maybe that can change, but maybe not soon. To declare a wolf hunt when there is such doubt is risking the reputations of hunters and game manager in Michigan. Ordinary folks don’t mind much about trivia like whether hooks for sturgeon need to be barbless, but they are used to having a say about what is or is not a game species. Most hunting and conservation groups say they favor democratic methods of wildlife management – it is usually a principle in the “North American Model”. I think that’s mostly cause we don’t want things being run for the benefit of just a few (usually wealthy) people. Anyway, to act in apparent defiance of democratic principals therefore seems like a really dumb move, which will discredit us with the voters and be against our principles. Approval of G is not approval of either recent law, no matter how McDonough spins it. This is horrible public relations work.

  • JOLLYJIM

    STOP KILLING WOLVES; THEY’RE OUR NATIONAL HERITAGE JUST LIKE EAGLES.

  • Ryan Nims

    Time will tell the people’s pushing anti hunting and anti mangement might just be in jail by then . Seems only 1% of the donation money collected was used for reasons people’s donated . Having a hunting season for wolves will add value to them and save them from what’s going on now . What’s going on now you might ask well the wolves are being shot because they have no fear of man under damage control permits . Why are damage control permits being given because the wolves are eating up all the dogs accross upper mi . There attacking killing people’s horses there stalking children at bus stops and playing outside . These wolves are lazy by nature take take the easy meal . Having a very limited hunting season of 38 wolves that would be shot anyway under damage control permits will raise 120k used to save the wolves . This limited harvest will put wolves on the alert to man simple fact is good they belong out in the woods living off the land

    • NormMackey

      The HSUS didn’t collect money from people, and tell them “this won’t be used for our campaigns to protect wolves” (or wild horses, abused circus elephants and Tennesee Walking Horses (that part about people’s horses in Michigan being eaten by wolves is a total fabrication by yourself, of course). People donate money to them in recognition to the work they have done, without specifying donations will not be used to protect wolves.

      There were two damage control permits issued to the two victims of wolf predation on dogs earlier this year, and four wolves were killed, two by the property owners and two by the DNR. That isn’t exactly “eating up all the dogs accross upper mi” as you put it.

      And the whole point is that the hunt WILL NOT be killing wolves that would be killed under damage control permits, it will be killing them from uninvolved packs already displaying natural, nonthreatening wolf behavior.

  • Ryan Nims

    you wish to save the wolves then hunt the wolves turn them into wild animals not junk yard dogs they are now . The wolves are also moving south in this state soon will become common animal in southern Michigan do you wish them feeding on your pets and Kids or do you wish them to be wild living off the land not man . The sportsman wish this animal well and wish a healthy population please don’t kid yourself were against any animal we spend billions and live are lives to help animals by protecting creating habitat saving marsh lands . Buying millions of acers of land for all walks of life .

    • kristilloyd

      Will they be crossing the bridge to southern MI or will they swim across the big lakes or will they go down through WI, IL, IN to get to southern MI? How many kids have been eaten in the US by wolves, Ryan? How much habitat have you provided for wolves?

  • Ryan Nims

    Mucc should look at getting this dove thing on the ballot for 2014 the sportsman will clearly vote this time . Might look at sand hills as well get the waterfowl guys on board .

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