Wolves Officially Under State Management Today

Last month’s decision from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the federal endangered species list became official today. Management authority over wolves in Michigan has been officially returned to the Department of Natural Resources, putting the state’s Wolf Management Plan into effect.

After meeting the criteria to delist more than a decade ago, conservation advocates finally won the day. Wolves no longer need federal protection. It it rightfully the state’s responsibility and authority to manage wildlife within its boundaries. According to the Wolf Management Plan, as of today wolves are classified as a “protected species” and allows for flexible management options for the state to control problem wolves. According to the 1996 Proposal G, supported overwhelmingly by voters, science-based management should guide future decisions on reclassifying wolves as a game species (something that can only be done by the legislature).

A 2008 state law MUCC pushed for also goes into effect today which allows livestock and dog owners the ability to protect their private property from wolf depredation—to remove, capture, or, if deemed necessary, use lethal means to destroy a wolf that is “in the act of preying upon” (attempting to kill or injure) the owner’s livestock or dog(s).

Specific guidelines have been provided by the DNR for livestock or dog owners who use lethal means to destroy a wolf:

1. Report the lethal take of a wolf by calling the Report All Poaching (RAP) hotline at 800-292-7800 no later than 12 hours after the lethal take.

2. Retain possession of the wolf until a DNR official is available to take possession. A DNR official will respond to the scene within 12 hours of notification.

3. Do not move or disturb the dead wolf. The only exception to this rule is if a wolf has been killed in the act of preying upon livestock and leaving the wolf in place would impede normal farming practices. In that case the wolf may be moved to a secure location once photographs are taken of the wolf and the area where lethal means were used.

The DNR will continue to investigate and prosecute of any wolf poaching cases. Illegally killing a wolf is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both, and the cost of prosecution. Suspected poaching violations may be reported 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the DNR’s RAP hotline.

  • JoeB

    Finally some common sense may enter into the management plans

  • Buckshotrdb

    question, What about the hunter that meets up with wolf as we are going to or from our hunting areas , I know They (the wolf) should run ,but if they do not ,and the hikers and others that use our beautiful state and federal lands ?

  • CompassionateConservative

    Don’t be a coward. People afraid of all uncertainty in life make me sick. You have a gun and are able to hunt animals with absolute power and no fair chance left to the animal (I hunt as well, but I acknowledge it’s just targeted killing, sport). Don’t be afraid of a wolf. It’s a damn dog. Seriously. Lions and tigers and bears are beautiful animals, alluring parts of life. Not something to be afraid of.

  • http://rork.myopenid.com/ rork

    “It it rightfully the state’s responsibility and authority to manage wildlife within its boundaries.” As long as we don’t show we are incompetent at it, which I hope does prove to be the case.

  • Ken

    The wolf population in Michigan is out of control and needs to be regulated. Until now the DNR could not regulate it, because it was a Federal issue. Hopefully the DNR will allow some hunting to bring the numbers down to a level that will be suitable for the UP. Right now we have 687 wolves and it was said the UP could only support 300. We have a moose population that should be the point of hunting but isn’t because of the predation. I know it isn’t all the wolf killing the moose, but it is a big factor. I have talked to several people that hunt in the UP and there are places there aren’t deer anymore because of the wolf. A wolf eats one deer a week and with 687 of them they eat 35,724 deer a year. They also eat other game as well. Should they be in the UP? I was not for it, but they are there now and they must be regulated.

  • Spanky

    What happens when a “greenie” gets eaten by a wolf……is that bad? I am on the fence with this one….its not the wolves fault …they are just feeding their family..