Wolf hunting group turns in signatures for ballot measure

A hunting group has turned in more than 370,000 signatures from Michigan voters for a statewide ballot measure designed to prevent a possible ban on hunting wolves. The proposal would reaffirm the ability of the Natural Resources Commission to decide what species of animals are game species.

The signatures from Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management need to be approved and verified by the Board of State Canvassers. The Michigan legislature could also vote to approve the initiative, and if that happens, the measure would automatically become law even without Governor Rick Snyder’s signature.

The opposition group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is asking lawmakers to allow the measure to go to voters in November. The proposal, called the Scientific Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act, also includes $1 million in spending to help combat Asian carp. Because the initiative contains an appropriation, it could not be overturned by a referendum if it became law. For that reason, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected claims the measure is an end-run around Michigan voters.

The group has also submitted signatures for two different anti-wolf-hunt measures. The Detroit News is reporting that if all three initiatives make it onto the November ballot, the measure attracting the most votes would win.