State Senate Approves Legislation that Could Allow Wolf Hunt
MARQUETTE, MI – (Great Lakes Radio News) – M-Live is reporting the Michigan Senate has approved legislation that could allow a wolf hunt in three areas of the U.P. regardless of what happens with a pending statewide voter referendum.
The Senate approved Senate Bill 288, authored by Escanaba Republican Tom Casperson, by a 25-11 vote today along party lines.
The legislation, which next goes to the House, allows the Natural Resources Commission to decide on its own what species could be hunted. Michigan’s current law requires the Legislature to designate a game species, which then gives the NRC permission to establish a hunt.
Critics say the bill is an attempt to bypass a pending ballot proposal and take away citizen rights to vote on some types of wildlife issues in the future. The coalition, called Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, wants to put its proposal to prohibit wolf hunting on the November 2014 statewide ballot. State election officials are reviewing petition signatures collected by the group and could make a decision on its ballot status within a few months.
Senate Bill 288 no longer includes a spending appropriation – which means it could be the subject of a possible voter referendum in the future, if it were to be challenged.
If Michigan has a wolf hunt, it would be limited to three areas of the U.P. The DNR is recommending a hunt with the goal of killing roughly four dozen wolves total. The NRC could act on the recommendation next month.
Great Lakes Radio – Delivering reliable and accurate local news to you on air, online and on demand