To the editor:
I am responding to a recent news article entitled, "Wolf Hunt." The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking both sides to back off. Fat chance. That is because there is a fundamental philosophical difference between hunters and trappers who support scientific wildlife management and those who opposed the killing of animals.
Wolves are not different from any other game and fur-bearing species. Management is best accomplished in the most cost effective way by regulated hunting and trapping seasons.
Russ Mason, Chief of the DNR Wildlife Division, is spot on with most of his comments. However, he is equivocating on whether or not to hold a wolf hunt, which contradicts what he said otherwise. Either you are going to manage the animals or you are not. I detest political wimps.
Failure to do their job is a slap in the face to the legislature and the governor who signed the law classifying the wolf as a game species and authorized the setting of harvest seasons. The legislative intent is clear.
Native American tribes and the animal rights/animal protectionists are trying to dictate public policy, yet failed to ante up to pay for it. Unfortunately, sportsmen and women were not consulted, nor given any say, about the up-to $1 million of our money that is spent annually on wolves. Call it arrogance of power.
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The wolf management roundtable had 10 stakeholder groups and the DNR, each with two votes, for a total of 22. Because they didn't want their pets killed, they decreed that all policy decisions be by consensus instead of majority vote. That denied the majority of stakeholders the benefit of their input and hard work. In other words, the DNR stacked the deck. Subsequently, a proposal to allow public hunting and trapping was defeated by the consensus rule. The vote was 16 in favor and six against.
This politically motivated rule resulted in a deeply flawed wolf management plan. Instead of active management, they respond to depredation complaints. Otherwise they just monitor and protect the animals. While the plan provides for lethal controls, it isn't without a lot of ifs, ands and buts.
They recently reconvened the wolf management advisory council of former Wolf Management Roundtable members. Because I am outspoken, I was told that I was not invited to participate.
As for a meaningful wolf hunt, don't count on it. Political correctness is alive and well in the DNR.