To the Journal editor:
As an Upper Peninsula resident and hunter, I attended with interest the referendum meeting on the Wolf Management Law at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.
As I feared, the group circulating the petition knows little about wolves, wildlife management, or hunting, and they have no interest in learning.
The Wolf Management Law is about managing wildlife populations based on sound science. The NRC and the DNR are conducting studies, convening public workgroups and seeking public input to determine if there is enough sound science to show a connection between wolf densities and wolf-human conflicts – like livestock kills – in some parts of the U.P.
If there is, they’ll use sound science to determine if a regulated hunt can reduce some of those conflicts while sustaining the wolf population.
That’s not what the group “Keep Michigan Wolves Protected” is telling people, though. At the “public” meeting in Marquette, they distributed propaganda and told the audience that the Wolf Management Law was only about “trophy hunting” and “slaughtering wolves for sport” and that it would threaten the “fragile” wolf population. When I tried to speak to correct their misleading statements, I was told to be quiet or I’d be forced to leave.
You see, “Keep Michigan Wolves Protected” isn’t from Michigan at all, and it’s certainly not from the U.P., where almost all of Michigan’s wolves live. It’s run by the Humane Society of the United States, a Washington, D.C.-based organization, that I believe is anti-hunting and whose goal it is to end all hunting.
This is not your local animal shelter. They ran polls before launching this referendum that told them people were more likely to oppose a wolf hunt if they thought it was about “trophy-hunting,” so that’s what the HSUS keeps repeating, even though they know it’s about wildlife management.
They don’t want their petition gatherers to hear the truth about them, either. At the meeting I heard them tell people not to answer any questions, to not engage, just to get the signatures and move on. Does that sound like a “grassroots” movement to you?
They’ll be gathering for signatures where population densities are the highest and where wolf densities are the lowest, like Detroit.
We don’t need an out-of-state anti-hunting group telling us how to manage U.P. wildlife with petition signatures from Detroit.