Michigan DNR Supports Minnesota's Wolf Delisting Action
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment said it supports recent action by the State of Minnesota to remove the gray wolf from the list of species protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act.
The State of Minnesota filed a formal petition with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on March 15.
"Our colleagues in Minnesota have done an excellent job of making the case for the regional recovery of the gray wolf," said DNRE Director Rebecca Humphries. "The strength of this petition will hopefully compel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to act swiftly so that we can implement our wolf management plans. We stand in full support of Minnesota's formal petition"
The recovery goals established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to allow removal of wolves from Endangered Species Act protection across the region have been met since 1999 and the current wolf population in Michigan and Wisconsin exceeds the recovery goal by more than 10 times. "There are no biological reasons for wolves to remain on this list," Humphries added. Because of this recovery, the wolf was removed from the state's list of threatened and endangered species in 2009.
Michigan developed a wolf management plan with extensive public input and that plan contains goals to ensure the long-term viability of wolves in Michigan. The Michigan wolf management plan has been approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as being adequate to provide for the long-term conservation of the species. Removal of wolves from the list of species protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act would transfer all management authority from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. DNRE has an effective management program in place and full state authority would allow full implementation of the wolf management plan signed by Director Humphries in 2008. Full implementation would include the lethal take of wolves where the DNRE feels it is warranted, for example, in cases of livestock depredation. In addition, state laws passed in 2009 to allow citizens to kill wolves in the act of attacking livestock and pets would be reinstated.