Wolves are on the federal endangered species list. If they are ever taken off the list, the legislation would allow them to be hunted.
Two years ago, voters rejected wolf hunting in a statewide referendum. Another effort to allow wolf hunting was struck down in court.
State Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) is the bill’s sponsor. He says the majority of voters who decided the issue live downstate and don’t have to deal with the wolves on a daily basis.
Casperson says that’s not fair and, “I just reject that out of hand. I mean, come on up and see what we’re dealing with, and then make your decision.”
State Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) offered an amendment that would send half of the Upper Peninsula wolves to the Lower Peninsula. He said that might give downstate opponents of wolf hunting a different perspective
“It’s Christmas time and us Yoopers share the wealth,” he said. “Everybody should enjoy what we have.”
But the Humane Society and other advocates disagree. Jill Fritz is the director of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign. She says voters have made it clear they oppose wolf hunting.
“It’s unbelievable that the Legislature is now trying for a fourth time to force wolf hunting legislation on a public that clearly does not want it,” she said.
The Humane Society has already launched a campaign urging Governor Snyder to veto the bill.
The bill also contains an appropriation – which would make it immune to another referendum vote.