Photo: Michigan Tech U/AP
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 15, 2014
Contact: Drew YoungeDyke, Field Manager | 517.346.6486 | firstname.lastname@example.org
LANSING—The groups supporting Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management are doubling the reward offered by the Department of Natural Resources to catch poachers who killed two wolves recently in the Upper Peninsula.
Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management was the ballot question committee behind the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act that will allow the Natural Resources Commission to designate game species, including wolves, when it takes effect in March following its passage by the Legislature in August.
“We support regulated, legal hunting set by the recommendations of professional biologists,” said Merle Shepard, chair of Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management. “However, we strongly oppose poaching in all its forms. Hunters, anglers and trappers have always led the charge against poaching.” Once the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Management Act takes effect in March, 90 days after the current legislative session ends, wolves will be designated as a game species and the Natural Resources Commission will be able to set a legal hunting season if supported by sound science and professional biologists.
The Department of Natural Resources reward of $1,000 per incident will be doubled to $2,000 per incident for information leading to the prosecution of the violator(s) under a $2,000 donation made by the groups that are part of Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management to the Department of Natural Resources Report All Poaching (R.A.P.) program.
“By making the reward through the Department of Natural Resources process, we are able to provide a real incentive because tips can be made anonymously. Only the DNR will know who made it. It also encourages people to report tips to the DNR’s Report All Poaching line. Without that coordination with DNR Law Enforcement, it would just be an empty public relations stunt like the so-called Wolf Patrol’s reward,” said Drew YoungeDyke of Michigan United Conservation Clubs.
An anti-hunting group calling itself the Great Lakes Wolf Patrol has offered a $1,500 reward for the same incidents. It is not connected to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigation, though. It’s founder, Rod Coronado, was convicted of arson for committing acts of eco-terrorism at a Michigan State University laboratory in 1992.
Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management is a coalition of conservation, hunting, fishing and trapping organizations formed to pass the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, a citizens initiative passed into law as Public Act 281 of 2014. It includes the Michigan chapters of Safari Club International, the Michigan Bear Hunters Association, the Michigan Trappers and Predator Callers Association, the Michigan Hunting Dog Federation, U.P. Bearhoundsmen, U.P. Whitetails, Inc., U.P. Whitetails of Marquette County, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Michigan Salmon and Steelhead Fishermens Association, Upper Peninsula Sportsmens Alliance, United States Sportsmens Alliance, and many other Michigan-based and local conservation clubs.