New petition to stop wolf hunting

There is now a second petition drive to get a measure to stop wolf hunting in Michigan on the ballot next year.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected held a meeting in Marquette Thursday night.  Last December, a new law declared wolves a game species in the state.  The group gathered enough signatures in two months to open the issue up to a vote in November 2014.

“We turned in the signatures from the first petition effort and qualified for the ballot,” Keeping Michigan Wolves Protected Director Jill Fritz said.  “Unfortunately now we have to do a second referendum effort to repeal a law that was passed to do end run around on our first referendum.  So the first referendum effort was to protect wolves, the second one is to protect our right to have a say in protecting wolves.”

This second petition drive concerns a law signed in May, giving the Michigan Natural Resources Commission the right to declare any animal a game species, along with the Legislature.

If the NRC did that, voters could not reverse the decision because the NRC’s members are political appointees and are not elected.

“We are shooting for 225,000 signatures, which we are confident that we will get from very enthusiastic volunteers all over the state,” Fritz said.

Before the recent wolf measures, it was already legal in Michigan to kill wolves that attack livestock or dogs.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected held similar meetings in Sault Ste. Marie Tuesday night and in Houghton Wednesday night.