Michigan: Keep Wolves Protected!

Last December Michigan's Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill that designated wolves as a game animal and turned wolf management over to the state's Natural Resource Commission (NRC).

After 50 years of protection, the population of wolves in Michigan is still estimated to be fewer than 700 (down from last year's count) and wolf advocates began the fight to keep them from being hunted and trapped with a new approach - bringing the issue to the voters.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a coalition of conservation groups, animal welfare organizations, wildlife professionals, veterinarians, hunters, ranchers, several American Indian tribes and other residents turned in 253,705 signatures in March to get the issue on the November 2014 ballot, surpassing the required number by a long shot.

Unfortunately, a Senate bill (S.B. 288) that circumvents the ballot initiative and will allow the NRC to independently designate animals as game species and clear the way for hunting and trapping in the Upper Peninsula this fall has gone to the governor for a signature.

Because whatever the NRC does can not be overturned by referendum, if he signs it voters will have no say in what happens to wolves.

Please sign the petition asking the governor to honor the democratic process and veto this bill.

As someone who is concerned with the fate of America's iconic wolves, I am writing to express my extreme disappointment over the passage of SB 288, which will allow the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) to independently designate animals as game species and clear the way for hunting and trapping in the Upper Peninsula.

After being hunted to near extinction, the number of wolves in the state is still fewer than 700 and has decreased since the last count. More than 250,000 residents have shown their support for bringing this issue to the voters, yet this bill was fast-tracked to circumvent the ballot referendum before their signatures could even be certified.

I sincerely hope you will honor the democratic process and veto this bill. Michigan's wolves deserve to be protected and your voters deserve to be heard.

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