76
      Sunday
      85 / 70
      Monday
      79 / 60
      Tuesday
      76 / 59

      Group will focus on wolf hunting impact and regulation

      Michigan's Wolf Management Advisory Council will meet in St. Ignace.

      Michigan's Wolf Management Advisory Council (WMAC) will meet this week to discuss whether wolf hunting should be allowed and to regulate the hunting season structure.

      The Wolf Management Advisory Council, previously known as the Wolf Forum, was created under a law passed by the Legislature in December 2012.

      Public Act 520 of 2012 (Senate Bill 1350) designated wolves as a game species in Michigan. The WMAC will report its recommendations on wolf management annually to the Legislature and the Natural Resources Commission .

      The NRC has the authority to determine whether public harvest of wolves should be allowed and to regulate season structure and method of harvest.

      The WMAC includes members from a diverse group of organizations with an interest in wolves and wolf management, including hunting and trapping, conservation, tribal government, agriculture and animal advocacy.

      At the meeting Wednesday, April 24, staff from the Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Division will gather input from council members regarding a current proposal to use hunting and trapping to manage and resolve conflict issues.

      Members of the public are welcome to observe the council's discussions and will have the opportunity to provide written comments at the meeting. The meeting will take place from 1-5pm at the Little Bear Arena, located at 275 Marquette St. in St. Ignace.

      The NRC is in the process of considering the authorization of the hunting and trapping of wolves as a management tool. The NRC may take action on a proposal for the public harvest of wolves in May. The council will develop information at the April 24 meeting to help inform the NRC in preparation for its decision.

      A possible wolf hunting season is controversial.

      On March 27, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected submitted 253,705 signatures to the Secretary of State's office. If the signatures are certified, any plans for a wolf hunting season would be put on hold until Michigan voters decide on the issue at the ballot box in November 2014.

      To learn more about Michigan's wolf population and Wolf Management Plan, click here .

      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 .

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

      Do you think there should be a wolf hunting season in Michigan? Tell us Your Point of View by voting in the poll below and leaving your comments.