Gray wolves discussions continue

An effort continued in the Michigan Legislature Thursday to hold the state’s first-ever modern day hunting season for gray wolves.

Many hunters and residents of the Upper Peninsula say efforts to bring back the wolf population has been so successful, that it’s reducing the deer herd, resulted in dead livestock as well as frightening encounters with UP residents.  The population is now between 700 and 1000.

A long list of organizations are backing a controlled hunt of gray wolves.  However, some environmental groups along with native American tribes are opposing any headlong rush into a wolf hunting season, saying it could result once again in making the gray wolf an endangered species in Michigan.

Testimony on the proposal was heard Thursday before the State Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Gray wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list just under a year ago.
Great Lakes gray wolves were placed on the endangered species list in 1973, when only six wolves were known to be living in Michigan.   They were taken off the list eight months ago.

Similar legislation has also been proposed in the State House.