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Michigan In Debate Over Wolf Hunt, Referendums


As Wisconsin is preparing for its second wolf hunt,  Michigan residents are protesting a move by that state's legislature that some feel is designed to preempt two November referendum questions.

This week the Republican-led state House approved a law that allows the state to name games species and establish hunting seasons without the Governor's signature. This could signal a second U.P. wolf hunt.

Two ballot proposals will ask whether the state should overturn a law establishing a wolf hunting season in the Upper Peninsula while the second would overturn a law allowing the state Natural Resources Commission to directly designate game species.

The move in the Michigan allowing the designation of game species that passed this week is in possible direct conflict with one ballot question.

Nancy Warren from Ewen, Mi. is a member of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition. She says the Natural Resources Commission is politically appointed and is disappointed the politicians took away the voice of the public through referendum...

"....we are extremely disappointed with the legislative decision. This fight is far from over. When it comes to the wolves, the act that passed was not based on science, has nothing to do with conservation. It was just an end-round way of getting around a vote by the people...."
Warren says the House vote won't have an impact on the other referendum question establishing a wolf season in the U.P. She says she thinks the move was made to discourage voters but predicted it would end up in the courts.

 Two U.P. legislators spoke in favor of the hunt this week, citing livestock and pet attacks.

There are about 630 wolves in the Upper Peninsula.

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