UPPER PENINSULA, MI – The U.P. nearly eliminated their entire population of gray wolves back in the 1970’s. Human efforts to be rid of what they considered pests and a threat to livestock nearly succeeded before the Endangered Species Act of 1973 protected them. Conservation initiatives began the slow process of recovering the gray wolf population to stable and sustainable levels over the last few decades. Thanks to those efforts, the U.P. is now home to almost seven hundred wolves.
In 2008 a Wolf Management Plan was established to ensure the management and protections of the U.P.’s wolf population. It was updated in 2015, and is being updated again in 2022. The draft is available to read on the Michigan DNR’s website. The 2022 update hopes to use public input to identify prominent issues, assess public attitudes, and review the biological and social science surrounding wolves.
The draft has four principal goals:
- Maintain a viable wolf population
- Facilitate wolf-related benefits
- Minimize wolf-related conflicts
- Conduct science-based and socially responsible management of wolves
“Now that we have written a draft of the updated 2022 wolf management plan, it’s important that we gather feedback from the public to ensure the changes we’re proposing will support the long-term presence of a viable wolf population in Michigan, while addressing the needs of those with an interest in the health and viability of the state’s wolf population,” said Cody Norton, DNR large carnivore specialist.
The online questionnaire will be available for comments through August 4th.