As soon as gray wolves in the Great Lakes lost their federal protection last year, special interests in Minnesota began agitating to trap and hunt them. Their bills, which are now poised to be signed into law, would allow hundreds of Minnesota's wolves to be shot, snared and trapped starting this fall.
Livestock producers and others behind the legislation want to use sport hunting and trapping to reduce the state's wolf population. They're pushing for high quotas that could erase decades of progress toward wolf recovery in the state
Please tell Gov. Mark Dayton that you want wolves to survive and recover in Minnesota, not fall to hunting and trapping for sport.
I am writing to ask you to stop legislation authorizing sport hunting and trapping of Minnesota's wolves and reaffirm the moratorium on hunting and trapping that was a central feature of Minnesota's wolf-management plan.
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Minnesota's wolf-management plan provided that wolves would not be sport-hunted or trapped for five years after their removal from the list of species protected under the Endangered Species Act. But lawmakers eager to kill wolves quietly removed this safeguard through a provision in the budget deal that ended last summer's government shutdown.
Reinstating the five-year waiting period would allow scientists to assess how wolves are faring under state management now that large numbers of wolves are being killed for depredation control. The waiting period would also allow state managers time to carefully craft any potential wolf "harvest" with public input and a transparent process.
Wolves are a vital element of functioning ecosystems, as these top predators regulate deer and other prey populations. I support wolf recovery and oppose the premature push for a wolf hunting and trapping season.
Please ensure that wolves have a certain future in our state by supporting a floor amendment to the Department of Natural Resources omnibus bill (S.F.1943) to reinstate the five-year moratorium and reject any legislation that would allow sport hunting and trapping of Minnesota's wolves this fall.
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