However, upon researching the proposals, I learned that the Michigan legislature passed a third measure this past summer. As the Detroit Free Press stated:
"Lawmakers this summer approved a third measure initiated by pro-hunting groups that will remain in effect regardless of how the statewide votes turn out. It empowers the state Natural Resources Commission, a seven-member panel appointed by the governor, to designate game species and set hunting and fishing policy. Lawmakers attached a $1 million appropriation to the bill, making it referendum-proof under state law."
"Opponents gathered enough petition signatures to force statewide referendums on both, although not quickly enough to head off a hunt last year, during which 22 wolves were killed — fewer than the authorized maximum of 43."
Note: the establishment of a wolf hunting season was apparently pushed primarily by "sport" hunting proponents and livestock owners in the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan, who claimed that wolves were attacking livestock there. Michigan already has a law that allows livestock owners to dispatch "problem" wolves. One wonders how much "proof" a livestock owner needs for this action to be legal, and, if last year's "take" was 22, whether this had any trackable affect on wolf predation in the UP.
One also wonders whether this third measure approved earlier this year was necessary to protect livestock in the UP.
There are words for folk who support wolf hunts. Words like arrogant, shifty, greedy, prideful, self-involved, cheap.
Arrogant, because at least some of them believe wildlife is their personal property.
Shifty, because all they had to do was give lip-service to the recent ballot proposals, as such folk must have known the recent legislative measure made the referendums moot.
Greedy and prideful, because fuckyeah they deserved to have a wolf hunt, and wouldn't a nice carcass impress their friends?
Self-involved, because all the people interested in a wolf hunt in Michigan are in the UP.
Cheap, because there are nonlethal wolf control methods available that are proven to work, but might cost livestock owners more money in start-up. Hobby Farms http://www.hobbyfarms.com/livestock-and-p
The Natural Resources Commission's seven-member, governor-appointed (but state congress must approve) panel includes a lawyer, a surveyor, a life-long UP resident, an AFL-CIO iron worker, and a former state Farm Bureau member. Most of the commissioners are "avid" sport fishers, sport hunters, or both. Only one has any connection to environmental sustainability. Apparently, none are enrolled members of any federally recognized Native American tribal group (one cannot tell from a name, of course).
The latest estimated wolf population in Michigan is 636. One could safely presume that nearly all of that number are in the UP. The last hunt count of 22 is about 3.5% of the total estimated wolf population.
The NRC Orders are specific to place for hunts, so at least the hunts would be contained. But that still leaves that estimate of 636 wolves all in one region (the UP).
I tell you what: establish a wolf pack in Manistee, contain them to the city limits, and sit back and watch the natural whitetail-deer control measure do its work. Hey, I can dream, right?