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Wolf hunt opponents launch 2nd petition drive to ban the hunt

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A new petition drive is being launched to stop Michigan from holding a wolf hunt.

Last winter, more than a quarter million people signed petitions to put a ban on wolf hunting on the November, 2014 ballot.

But, state lawmakers passed a second law circumventing the petition, opening the door for a wolf hunt this fall. Thus the need for a second referendum petition drive.

Wayne Pacelle is the president of the Humane Society of the United States. He expects they will easily collect more than 200 thousand signatures.

“Because it’s more than just about the wolves…it’s about the right of citizens to have their input into the process,” says Pacelle.

Wolf hunt supporters say it’s needed to reduce the threat of wolf attacks on livestock and pets in the Upper Peninsula.

“Michigan’s wolf population is thriving and it needs to be managed by professional biologists to prevent conflicts with humans, like pets and livestock being killed,” said Erin McDonough, executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs

There are fewer than 700 wolves in the U.P.  State officials hope hunters will bag 43 of them during this year’s hunt.

This year’s wolf hunt may face a legal challenge from Michigan’s Native American tribes.   The tribes oppose the hunt on religious grounds.   They may try to challenge the state’s right to hold a wolf hunt in federal court.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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