DNR clears up confusion on failed wolf proposals

MARQUETTE — The Department of Natural Resources is getting many calls from residents who are confused about the results of the November election, specifically regarding the two wolf proposals that failed.

Since the proposals failed, the Natural Resources Commission cannot decide whether wolves should be hunted until 2015, and wolves are still on the state endangered species list.  DNR Deputy Public Information Officer Debbie Munson Badini said residents are asking if the state will allow another wolf hunt, and what the two proposals mean for wolf management in Michigan.

“Does that mean we can never have any (wolf) hunting again?  No, it doesn’t mean we can’t have hunting, although the proposals failed, they will be superceded by legislation that was passed in August that gives the NRC the ability to name game species, including wolves,” Munson Badini said.  “So while right now we can’t have a wolf hunt because of the way the election went, it is possible it could happen in the future.”

The DNR provides a critical role in setting hunting seasons by providing information to the NRC.

“We provide the biological and scientific data showing should we have a hunt, what level of harvest would be acceptable to maintain a viable population, those sorts of things,” Munson Badini said. “We provide the science and some of the social science as well to the NRC (and) we give them recommendations.”

The NRC will base its decision for allowing a wolf hunt-or any other hunting season-based on data from the DNR and public comment they receive.