DNR, supporters spread falsehoods

To the editor:

The DNR and some of its more ardent supporters have been promoting a false narrative for more than twenty years. They have been claiming that wolves migrated here instead of being introduced. That claim is contradicted by a lot of anecdotal evidence and the personal observations of credible people over many years. I believe that it is appropriate to review some of this history so that people will not forget.

For more than 100 years, Michigan paid bounties on wolves. In 1965, they received full legal protection. From 1965 to 1990, we only had remnant populations in the Upper Peninsula. However, from 1990 to 1993, the population increased dramatically and by 1993, numerous wolf sightings were reported in every U.P. county. Considering this history, it defies logic and common sense for the DNR to claim that wolves didn’t have help getting here.

The most convincing evidence is a January 1995 newspaper article form the Denver, Colorado Rocky Mountain News about wolf introductions in the Rocky Mountain West. Dr. David Mech, a senior wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, was quoted by a reporter as claiming that he was involved with moving 120 gray wolves from Minnesota to Michigan. When that story was publicized here due to my efforts, both Dr. Mech and the DNR issued denials. I have no doubt that this story is true because it is unlikely that Dr. Mech was misquoted.

Dr. William Robinson, former wildlife biology professor at Northern Michigan University, was instrumental in the ill fated introduction of wolves to the Huron Mountain Club in 1974. He was also involved in or had knowledge of the effort to bring wolves here from Minnesota. Shortly before he passed away, I met him by chance in Marquette and asked him about the wolf transplants in the 1990’s. He said, “yeah they brought ’em here.’

When our so-called “public servants” do things that they are not supposed to do, which if proven, can get them fired from their positions, they lie about it. This is particularly true with controversial issues. When they say something false, that’s a mistake. When they know it’s false, that’s a lie. When they deliberately and continuously repeat these falsehoods, it’s a conspiracy. No wonder the Department has an image problem.

John Hongisto