DNR seeks input on wolf management plan

MARQUETTE — The DNR is updating its Wolf Management Plan and is looking for comments from the public. The plan was created in 2008 to identify important issues and attitudes towards wolves and their management.  Four goals were ultimately created: maintain a viable wolf population, facilitate wolf–related benefits, minimize wolf–related conflicts, and conduct science–based and socially acceptable management of wolves.

“The point now of taking comment is to see how citizens of Michigan feel we’re doing. Are we meeting those four goals or are there things we could do better, are there things missing from the plan or outdated that we need to add?” DNR deputy public information officer Debbie Munson Badini said. “Basically it’s just a chance to reconvene, talk to people, find out how we’re doing, and then move forward.”

The wolf management plan takes into consideration scientific findings to maintain a healthy wolf population.  It also looks into social science to help manage wolves.

“Talking about how do we explain to the public the benefits of having a wolf population in Michigan, how do we let them know that this is something they could value and not look at it as just a conflict issue, so the wolf plan is not just about hunting,” Munson Badini said. “A lot of it is how do we educate the public about wolves and make sure they understand both the pros and some of the cons of having a wolf population.”

Those interested in commenting on the wolf management plan can take a survey now through December 11.

Once the survey is completed, the DNR will compile the information and release a draft plan to the public before passing a final plan by the spring of 2015.

The survey can be found by clicking here: www.surveymonkey.com/s/wolfplanupdate.   Those unable to participate in this survey electronically are asked to contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453 to receive a paper survey.

The DNR hopes to have the wolf plan update completed by spring of 2015.