State Rep. Kivela voices support for wolf hunt

MARQUETTE – As up to 1,200 hunters headed out to the woods Friday hoping to bag a wolf during the first state-sanctioned wolf hunt in Michigan history, state Rep. John Kivela, D-Marquette, backed up their right to do so.

“I support scientific management of wildlife,” Kivela said during a taping of WNMU-TV 13’s Media Meet. “Michigan has one of the best managed wildlife programs in the United States, without question.”

In support of the wolf hunt, Kivela purchased a wolf hunting license the first day they went on sale.

With 1,200 wolf licenses sold and only 43 wolves allowed to be harvested, some wolf-hunt skeptics have said there’s no way the state can ensure such a small number will be killed.

Media Meet host Bill Hart asked Kivela is potential poachers could push that number even higher.

“I think (poaching has) happened for years, quite frankly,” Kivela said. “We’ve all heard the stories.

Among other topics discussed during Media Meet, Kivela touched on Marquette Township’s lawsuit with Lowe’s Home Improvement Store on U.S. 41. Kivela said a bill he introduced – along with a similar bill introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba – to amend a property tax law that allows big box stores to be valued as though they were empty – or “dark” – has stalled in the House.

Kivela said the ability of big box stores to be evaluated as dark stores” was incredibly detrimental to the communities they are located in.

“It is horrific what is being done,” Kivela said. “These communities are being devastated. I know one community downstate that the township fought, lost, seven other big box stores came up, got their taxes lowered, they’ve now closed the library in their community.”

Marquette Township is involved in an appeal of the state’s tax tribunal decision to allow the Lowe’s store to be valued as a dark store.

Kivela’s appearance on Media Meet airs at 2:30 p.m. today on WNMU-TV 13.

Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242. Her email address is