Lawmakers vote to allow wolf hunts in Upper Peninsula
Wolf hunts in the Upper Peninsula will be able to continue under a law approved on Wednesday by the state House. The petition-initiated proposal cleared the state Senate earlier this month.
The new law does not need Gov. Rick Snyder’s approval to take effect. It’s designed to circumvent two anti-wolf hunting proposals on the November ballot.
“This is just another slap in the face to Michigan voters with the Legislature voting on an initiative that they think is going to render moot a citizen vote in November,” said Jill Fritz with the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected coalition.
“They’re just using the process, which should be citizen-initiated language, to simply just work around what the voters want.”
Fritz says the ballot proposals could still decide whether there’s a wolf hunt this winter. That’s because the new law does not take effect until early next year.
The coalition plans to challenge the new law in court.
Supporters of the law say the hunts are necessary to keep wolves from attacking livestock and pets in the U.P.
“We need your help,” said state Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, on the House floor before Wednesday’s vote. “Our entire peninsula is being affected. And people’s ways of life are being altered in a way that’s adverse to our whole culture.”
The legislation won support from both Republicans and Democrats representing districts in the Upper Peninsula.