HOUGHTON — A public comment period is open regarding suggestions on what to do about wolves on Isle Royale.
What should be done about the dwindling wolf population on Isle Royale? The draft Environmental Impact Statement from the Isle Royale National Park offers four options the preferred option by the National Park Service being to introduce 20 to 30 wolves to the park over a three year period.
Michigan Tech Research Professor Rolf Peterson, one of the co-principal investigators of a wolf-moose research project, along with MTU Professor John Vucetich, said, “It’s a little more bold than what I expected, but it’s consistent with the idea that they want to restore predation as soon as possible. And, so they get it. They realize the lack of predation is leading to a problem, as these prey populations tend to explode and so the intent is to try to reverse that as soon as possible.”
That many wolves will give the maximum opportunity for introducing new genetic material into the population. The public comment period is required by law…and those comments are taken into consideration when making the final decision. Peterson said, “It’s not a vote, so it’s not a matter of piling up ‘yes’s’ and ‘no’s’, but the comment period is intended to provide an opportunity for people to weigh in on the pros and cons of the merits of the proposals, so I encourage people to do that.”
Public comments are being accepted through March 15th.