MICHIGAN: Democracy at Stake — This Wednesday

Rep. TownsendRep. Jeff Irwin (D-53) weighs-in through his Facebook page on the upcoming House vote this Wednesday, August 27th, over the various wolf hunt ballot initiatives:

On Wednesday, the Michigan House is scheduled to vote on a citizen initiative, supported by a petition drive, to authorize the Dept of Natural Resources to set hunting rules for wolves. This initiative is an attempt to nullify the efforts of another citizen petition drive to prevent the hunting of wolves as authorized by legislative action last year. If this new measure passes the House, as it has already passed in the Senate, citizens will face ballot questions on wolf hunting, but those questions will be meaningless. If the legislature takes no action, that allows the pro-wolf hunting initiative to come before voters alongside the anti-wolf hunting proposal.

Advocates of the proposal argue that DNR has a strong record of success with scientific management of fish and wildlife habitat and that the decision whether and when to hunt wolves should be decided by the Natural Resources Commission (the governing body of the DNR). Also, supporters argue that wolves are wreaking havoc in the Upper Peninsula, damaging property and threatening schoolchildren. This may seem alarmist, but these were the arguments made on the floor of the House and Senate in support of a similar measure, passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor, that authorized a wolf hunt and set off this series of citizen initiatives.

Opponents of the most recent proposal argue that, with the wolf only recently coming off the Endangered Species List, the population of wolves in Michigan is insufficient to support hunting. They argue that scientific management of wolves would dictate that Michigan packs are not ready for a hunting season and that the NRC only approved the last hunt because of political pressure from certain lawmakers and the Governor. The only scientist on the NRC, a biologist, was the lone dissenting vote against scheduling the 2013 wolf hunt. Further, opponents of the measure argue that the claims of wolf/human conflict are exaggerated. They point out that a huge percentage of the livestock killed in the UP were the result of one farmer who has a history of farm management violations (such as not cleaning up carcasses on his land). Even further, they point out that one Senator had to apologize for exaggerating stories of wolf/human conflict when debating on the Senate floor.

I think you see where I’m at on this issue. I’m no opponent of hunting, far from it. I see the value of scientific management of fish and wildlife. In most instances, the DNR has been a trusted steward. I also know that almost all of the conservation resources in Michigan have come from hunters and anglers and that our best environmental policies come from an era when environmentalists and conservationists were in strong alliance. Nonetheless, in the present instance the NRC has buckled to political pressure and reacted to exaggerated stories and now we have multiple petitions, signed by hundreds of thousands of citizens asking to vote on the matter.

I think we should let voters decide.

His opinion is a reflection of the party platform — supporting the democratic process in Michigan through citizen-driven ballot initiatives and referendums. Irwin is not alone in that view. A growing number of editorial boards are slamming GOP lawmakers for their increasingly bold usurpation of voters rights.

These are the same editors, commentators and community leaders that will be calling the endorsement shots prior to the general election this November. A sampling:

The Chicago Tribune

Traverse City Record-Eagle

Livingston Daily

Petoskey News

Port Huron Times Herald

The Northwestern.com

Tim Skubick

MLive

Lansing State Journal

Battle Creek Enquirer

Jack Lessenberry

Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe

Detroit Free Press

Kristi w: Schauer

Listen here to our recent Michigan Policast interview on the issue with wolf activist and proponent of the democratic process, Kristi Lloyd, from Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.

DSCN0444Amy Kerr Hardin

 

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12 Responses to MICHIGAN: Democracy at Stake — This Wednesday

  1. Drew says:

    I wish that someone would spell out the entire process of how the Wolf Hunt was done.
    Now as I understand 1,200 licenses were sold, $100 for Michigan residents and $500 for Non-residents. So at least $120,000 were place into the coffers of the Mi. DNR. Again as I understand I very well could be misguided but the hunter had to contact the DNR the night prior, to find out which WMU – Wolf Management Unit they were able to hunt the following day.
    22 wolves were harvested out of a possible 49. Even if all 49 were, that is still less than 10 percent of the est. population.
    Finally I thought that Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act 451 of 1994 324.40113a, put an end to all of this. Apparently not.

  2. kristi lloyd says:

    Thank you, Amy!! This is awesome!! And thanks to Rep. Irwin!!

  3. Samantha says:

    They are such beautiful animals. Don’t bother anyone they deserve to live how bout worry with other things and leave God’s creatures alone it sickens me to see someone trying to pass this law you wouldn’t like to be hunted down to end your life would you? I bet not then how bout leave them be

  4. Yelena Bakunovich says:

    Dear Government, I am not a citizen of United States but I am a citizen on this planet and I am against of any hunting program. I am sure you have more humans voted to keep wolfs alone rather then farmers and hunters that supports you. I am asking you to make right decision to ban hunting on species like wolfs and any animals that are essential. Sincerely Thank you

  5. Debby Carroll says:

    Each and everyone of you lawmakers that votes for the indiscriminate killing of wild creatures for sport should be as dead as the wolves you celebrate killing come next Election Day — there is no place in civilized society for this kind of activity

  6. Michelle Lemley says:

    Please stop killing wolves!

  7. Lori ilardi says:

    STOP KILLING THE WOLVES

  8. rayson tupper says:

    Stop the Killing of WOLVES…

  9. Lynne Carr-Phillips says:

    Politics and money, fracking and earthquakes, nature, motherearth STOP killing us!! Stop the killing of wolves!~!

  10. Cuauhtemoc Gonzalez says:

    Killing wolves is against all economical sense. Think about it, other countries make tons of money attracting tourists to take “nature walks”, “nature camping”, safaris, etc.

    What do we do in Michigan? Sell a killing license for $100 so they can go and shot one of these majestic predators. Isn’t it silly? Do you know how much money does Costa Rica make in ecoturism? You’ll be surprise to know!!

    Why are we going for the easy way of issuing hunting licenses, that most likely the hunters will not respect (surely they will kill other will animals, many of them protected and later say “it was an accident – oops, I did it again-”

    In addition we need wolves to keep herbivorous populations healthy.

    Think about it !!!!

  11. jolene sanders says:

    this is rediculous . wolves have been on the endanger list too long. now that they are being re-introduced into the enviroment, they wat rights to start killing them off again. this is absurd. how do people live with themselves. we know politicians have no scruples, and they have been usurping our votes for years now, getting the public to raise their voices it seems the only way for them to heed the warnings. you must begin by getting their followers to step up and join the disapproval of what they are doing. threatening their votes for re-election is a must to get them to change their minds. i wish the wolves of michigan luck. it would be a disaster if hunting them is allowed. come on voters don’t just trust your vote, stand up and yell. NO to the hunting of the wolves in your state sincerely jolene sanders of wichita, ks

  12. Rafaella says:

    I am against hunting wolves for whatever reason it might be. They have the right to live and they are not alive to live by our rules.
    Population controls are ridiculous, looking in the mirror would be very good for us, because we are the ones who should be hunt down to stop our population to take all the space this planet has, soon we will be living underwater because the land won’t have space for us to even stand anymore due to so many humans. It’s not good for any species, neither our own for obvious reasons.
    Farmers came in, took the space of all the life that populated the region and it is still claimed that the wolves are the ones invading our lands?

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