Wolf lawsuit dismissed by Michigan Court of Claims

LANSING — The Michigan Court of Claims has ruled in favor of the Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission when it comes to wolves being hunted in the state.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected filed a lawsuit against the DNR and the NRC in back in April over language in Michigan law that gives the NRC control when it comes to deciding which animals can and cannot be hunted, which includes wolves.

In their complaint, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected argued that the NRC should not have the power to designate wolves as game specie. The judge in the case sided with the DNR and the NRC, saying that the language in the law is indeed constitutional.

“In the spring of 2013, we had successfully designated wolf hunt on hold. At the time of writing that initiated language, the wolf was not a game specie in the state of Michigan,” said Jill Fritz of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. “Therefore if the wolf would have been included in that language, it would’ve have to have been capitalized to indicate to people signing the petition this is what they were signing. However, the wolf was not mentioned the language on the petition.”

Despite the judge’s decision, wolves cannot currently be hunted in the state. Wolves were put back on the endangered species list in the Great Lakes Region back in December. Keep Michigan Wolves Protected plans to appeal the decision, which was handed down on Friday.