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Lawmakers vote to allow wolf hunts in UP

Wolf on Isle Royale.
A wolf on Isle Royale. The wolves on this island are protected from any kind of hunt.

Wolf hunts in the Upper Peninsula will be able to continue under a new law passed by the state House today. Groups that oppose wolf hunting say state lawmakers are trying to thwart the will of voters.

To the chants of “Let us vote! It’s our right!” anti-wolf hunting groups rallied outside the state Capitol before the House took up the bill.

The petition-initiated law is designed to circumvent two proposals on the November ballot that seek to stop wolf hunting in Michigan.

Credit Jake Neher / MPRN
Groups opposing wolf hunts in Michigan rallied in front of the state Capitol prior to Wednesday’s vote in the state House

Jill Fritz, with the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected coalition, says the Legislature should have let the initiative go to the ballot.

“They’re just using the process, which should be citizen-initiated language, to simply just work around what the voters want,” she said. “This is just another slap in the face to Michigan voters with the Legislature voting on an initiative that they think is going to render moot a citizen vote in November.”

Fritz says her group plans to challenge the new law in court.

Supporters of the law say the hunts are necessary to keep wolves from attacking livestock and pets in the UP.

State Representative Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, is from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“We need your help. Our entire peninsula is being affected, and people’s ways of life are being altered in a way that’s adverse to our whole culture.”

The new law will take effect early next year without having to go to Governor Rick Snyder for approval.

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