Wolf hunt debate continues

The wolf hunt debate is continuing on the same day that legislation passed both the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives.

The Keep Michigan Wolves Protected (KMWP) coalition is urging Governor Rick Snyder to veto a bill they say is designed to circumvent a referendum vote to protect the state’s wolf population.

In a press release today, the group says, “If signed into law, SB 288 would result in Michigan’s 7.4 million registered voters losing their right to decide whether to protect Michigan’s declining population of 658 wolves in the November 2014 election.”

The release continued, “SB 288 was fast-tracked through the legislative process to prevent the Board of State Canvassers from certifying signatures from registered voters in every corner of the state, which would suspend the wolf hunting law until voters could decide the matter on the November 2014 ballot. SB 288 would empower a politically-appointed panel of seven persons, to designate animals as game species without voter oversight.”

“Now is the time for Governor Snyder to stand up for the voters of Michigan, to uphold our fundamental democratic principles, and veto SB 288. The legislature wants to silence the voice of Michigan voters, circumvent the democratic process, and nullify the more than 255,000 signatures submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office. We encourage everyone who values their right to vote, and those who want to protect wolves from needless hunting and trapping, to contact Governor Snyder and tell him to veto SB 288,” said Jill Fritz, director of KMWP.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected says it is a broad-based, statewide coalition created to place a 2012 wolf-hunting law to a statewide referendum vote.

Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) introduced a bill that would allow the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to add animals to the list of game species to be hunted and trapped. Michigan voters would be unable to reverse decisions of the NRC because it is a regulatory body and not the Legislature.

Casperson has said he believes the danger and damage created by the wolves in rural Upper Michigan needs to be addressed.