Analysis challenged

To the Journal editor:
I read George Lindquist’s perspective (in his Feb. 10 letter to the editor) on what transpired at the Jan. 20 kickoff meeting for the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign in Marquette. From where I sat, in a room filled with fellow Upper Peninsula residents, there learn how to protect the fewer than 700 wolves in our state from hunting and trapping, I saw it differently.
The meeting began with a factual presentation on wolf biology and wolf-related incidents (referencing Michigan Department of Natural Resources data), by a Ewen resident and member of the Wolf Management Roundtable. Then representatives from Keep Michigan Wolves Protected laid out what was needed for citizens to get involved in the campaign.
When Mr. Lindquist began voicing his opinions and asking questions of meeting organizers, they answered several of his questions before asking him to allow time for other attendees.
The meeting was not a public forum for those wishing to voice opposition to wolves and their desire to see them killed. Those types of meetings are being organized by other groups.
The Jan. 20 Keep Michigan Wolves Protected meeting was clearly advertised as an orientation for a campaign to stop a bill authorizing a wolf hunt, pushed through the lame-duck legislature without supporting scientific evidence.
Michigan law in effect since January 2012 allows the DNR to target wolves responsible for depredation and to issue landowner permits, allowing those wolves to be shot on sight.
The DNR can kill wolves that have become habituated to people. Farmers can kill wolves in the act of attacking livestock and dog owners can kill a wolf in the act of attacking their dog. It has always been legal to kill a wolf threatening human life.
The Keep Michigan Wolves Protected referendum effort, if successful, would not change any of that. It would simply repeal Public Act 520 of 2012 and place the issue of whether or not there should be a hunting season on Michigan’s wolves in voters’ hands, in the November 2014 general election.
There seems to be much opposition to Public Act 520 of 2012 from both Upper Peninsula and Lower Peninsula citizens and businesses, Native American tribes, biologists, hunters, and conservation and humane groups.
The ballot referendum process is a constitutionally-mandated right of every citizen in our state. It is being used, regardless of those who try to suppress the process.
Jackie Winkowski