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Both sides gear up for latest fight over a Michigan wolf hunt

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The state Senate is back in Lansing tomorrow for one day before resuming its summer recess.

It appears likely the Senate will vote on petition-initiated legislation to allow wolf hunting in Michigan, and give a state commission direct control over decisions on which species may be hunted.

The state House is expected to follow suit later this month.

The initiative is meant to circumvent two referenda on wolf-hunting laws adopted by the Legislature.

State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, says he will urge his colleagues to approve the legislation and restore the wolf hunting season.

“This wolf thing is firing on all cylinders across the U.P. at this point, and I’m going to make that case loud and clear if it comes down to the wolf issue, but those that don’t want the wolf hunt aren’t telling the public the whole story. They’re only giving them part of the story,” says Casperson.

Casperson says the anti-wolf hunting campaign is part of a larger effort by animal rights groups to restrict hunting all kinds of species.

Jill Fritz is with the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign. She says the Legislature should simply let this question go to the ballot, too.

“And that would be ideal, because that would let the people of this state have their vote on this issue, which they’ve worked so hard for in the past year,” says Fritz.

Last year, a state sanctioned wolf hunt killed 22 wolves.    

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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