Archive for the ‘Keep Michigan Wolves Protected’ Tag

Judge upholds constitutionality of Michigan law that enables commission to allow wolf hunting   Leave a comment

July 23, 2015

From the Associated Press

MARQUETTE, Michigan — The Michigan Court of Claims has upheld a law empowering an appointed panel to allow hunting of wolves.

The state Legislature approved the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act last August. It gave the Michigan Natural Resources Commission the authority to classify animals as game species. The commission already had given wolves that designation, which led to the state’s first authorized wolf hunt in 2013.

The law nullified two citizen votes last fall that would have prevented wolf hunts. A group called Keep Michigan Wolves Protected filed suit, saying the law violated the Michigan Constitution.

In a ruling issued Friday, Court of Claims Judge Mark T. Boonstra disagreed, writing that the group’s suit “fails to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.” He said the court was not taking a position on whether wolves should be hunted or not.

“That policy judgment is properly left to the Legislature and the people of the state of Michigan,” Boonstra said. “Rather, the sole question before this court is whether the legislative enactment in question violates the Michigan Constitution as alleged.”

A state spokesman praised the ruling.

MI Wolves (1)

“The citizen-initiated law gives authority to the Natural Resources Commission to regulate sport fishing in Michigan, aligning with the NRC’s authority to regulate the taking of game,” John Pepin, a Department of Natural Resources spokesman in Marquette, told The Mining Journal (http://bit.ly/1e0Sdwz ). “The act gives the NRC the authority to name game species. All of this supports sound scientific management of natural resources in Michigan.”

The Michigan United Conversation Clubs, a leading hunting and fishing group, also praised the decision.

“The court recognized that the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act was about just what its title says, managing fish, wildlife and their habitats with sound science,” spokesman Drew YoungeDyke said in a statement.

The wolf protection group said it will appeal.

“The judge was clearly hostile to our case, and did not seriously address the key issues of the complaint,” said Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Director Jill Fritz. “We have good legal arguments and our next step will be to the Court of Appeals.”


Michigan voters reject wolf hunting laws   Leave a comment

From: Center for Biological Diversity

MLive.com, November 5, 2014

By Jonathan Oosting

LANSING, MI — Wolf hunting opponents declared victory Tuesday night in Michigan, where voters rejected two separate laws that paved the way for an inaugural season last year.

While the victory was decisive, the impact remains unclear.

A third wolf hunting law set to take effect in March or April will reaffirm the authority of the Natural Resource Commission to name game species and establish hunting seasons.

With 93 percent of precincts reporting,Michigan Proposal 1 was headed for defeat, with 55 percent of voters choosing to reject the first wolf hunting law. Proposal 2 was on its way down as well, with 64 percent of voters saying “no” to the second wolf hunting law.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a group funded primarily by the Humane Society of the United States, has vowed to fight the third wolf hunting law in court.

In an email to supporters late Wednesday, campaign director Jill Fritz also called on the Legislature and NRC to honor the outcome of the vote.

“The people of Michigan don’t want the NRC setting a wolf hunting season, and they don’t want to give the NRC the authority to open new hunting seasons on protected species,” Fritz said. “And the NRC should honor the judgment rendered by voters come 2015.”

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recommended the state’s first ever wolf hunt last year with the aim of reducing attacks on livestock and discouraging comfort around humans.

There are an estimated 636 grey wolves in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, up from just six in the 1970s. Hunting groups say the NRC, not voters, should decide how best to manage the population.

 

© 2014 MLive Media Group.

This article originally appeared here.

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