An update on the legal status of wolves in Michigan, as well the steps going forward were debuted at the October Natural Resources Commission (NRC) meeting in Escanaba Thursday.
NRC Chair Tom Baird requested the update several months ago. The presentation went into detail on both the current legal status of wolves, including where it is at in the judicial process, but also into detail on the series of events, and the requirements to make state management decisions when wolves are delisted.
MUCC’s Chief Executive Officer Amy Trotter was on hand for the meeting and said that a transparent process is a good first step, but there are some things the commission can decide now.
“Setting clear expectations and a transparent sequence of events is a good start,” Trotter said. “We do not know when wolves will be delisted again, so setting quotas would be irresponsible at this time. However some things are appropriate to work on, legal methods of take, including trapping and season dates. All of those discussions are appropriate to have now.”
There were six fisheries orders up for action this month.
- Fisheries Order 200.23A– Inland River and Stream Trout and Salmon regulations. Commissioner Nyberg offered his amendment which changes steelhead bag limits across the state, to include 0 naturally reproducing fish in the Pere Marquette. Commissioners held this amendment for further discussion and action at a future meeting.
- Fisheries Orders 204.24 Spawning Closures, passed unanimously.
- Fisheries Orders 206.23A Special Fishing Regulations for Warmwater Species on Select Waters, Commissioner Cozad offered an amendment in September. The amendment was adopted, and the amended order was approved unanimously.
- Fisheries Order 252.23 Statewide – Lake Whitefish, Round Whitefish, Cisco, Rainbow Smelt and Arctic Grayling Regulations, passed unanimously.
- Fisheries Order 253.24 Great Lakes and Connecting Waters – Trout and Salmon Regulations, passed unanimously.
- Fisheries Order 254.23A Inland Lakes Trout and Salmon Regulations passed unanimously.
There were no new commission orders up for information this month.
The director only had one action item: A proposed oil and gas lease auction.
State land review for group 8 was up for information this month. The review can be found HERE. Group 8 includes: Baraga, Benzie, Clare, Clinton, Genesee, Ionia, Manistee, Mecosta, Newaygo, Shiawassee, and Wayne Counties.
Prior to the full meeting, the fisheries committee heard presentations on northern pike regulations in the UP inland lakes, as well as the status of lake trout populations at offshore reefs in Lake Superior.
The wildlife committee heard a presentation on grouse enhancement management sites overview from upland game bird specialist Adam Bump.
The director’s report featured a presentation on white-nose syndrome in bats in addition to the wolf presentation.
The November meeting returns to Lansing Community College West Campus on Thursday, November 9.
To ensure our natural resources remain protected and managed thoughtfully and our outdoor heritage defended, join Michigan United Conservation Clubs today: http://bit.ly/JoinMUCC.