68
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      Monday
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      Group wants to keep hunters away from wolves

      The group wants to force a referendum to the law allowing hunting of the once-protected predators.

      A group against killing wolves plans to pass around petitions to change a new Michigan law.

      Organizers of the group Keep Michigan Wolves Protected said it will seek to gather 225,000 signatures by late March to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. The group wants to force a referendum to the law allowing hunting of the once-protected predators.

      The coalition includes animal welfare, conservation and Native American groups.

      The Legislature last month voted to classify gray wolves as a game species, and state officials are preparing hunting rules. Michigan has about 700 wolves.

      The U.S. removed wolves from the endangered species list last year, and hunting has begun in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

      A presentation during the January meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission outlined a process that could produce recommendations by early summer for a potential wolf season.

      Public Act 520 of 2012 (Senate Bill 1350) designated wolves as a game species in Michigan when it was signed into law in December.

      Petition events against wolf hunting will take place across the state in the coming weeks. The group will hold an event in Traverse City on Jan. 19 at the Park Place Hotel starting at 6:30pm.??