house resolution no.219

Reps. Markkanen, Eisen, LaFave, Howell, Borton, Beeler, Allor, VanSingel, Steven Johnson, Reilly, Bellino, Berman, Beson, Bezotte, Bollin, Damoose, Frederick, Green, Griffin, Hoitenga, Hornberger, Maddock, Marino, Martin, O'Malley, Paquette, Rendon, Roth and Wakeman offered the following resolution:

A resolution to urge the Wolf Management Advisory Council and the Natural Resources Commission to authorize, and the Department of Natural Resources to organize, wolf hunting and trapping as part of the state's wolf management efforts beginning in 2022.

Whereas, Gray wolves in Michigan have been protected under the federal Endangered Species Act since 1974. At that time, gray wolves were in danger of going extinct and needed the special protection provided by the act to aid their recovery; and

Whereas, The federal government removed the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list effective January 4, 2021. Gray wolves have made a remarkable recovery from near extinction. Michigan's current gray wolf population of almost 700 wolves exceeds by over three times the number of wolves biologists consider necessary to maintain a healthy population in the state. Michigan's wolf population has met all federal recovery goals for delisting both in terms of number of wolves and the stability of those numbers for many years; and

Whereas, The state of Michigan is now responsible for managing its gray wolf population, and Department of Natural Resources' officials stated as recently as the summer of 2020 that their survey results show that Michigan's wolf population has recovered. Wolves in Michigan achieved the minimum sustainable population goal of 200 wolves for five consecutive years in 2004 and have since surpassed state and federal population recovery goals for nearly 20 years; and

Whereas, Managed hunting and trapping in the state is a viable means of ensuring stable wolf population numbers. Management allows the wolf population to be kept at levels that ensure the overall survival of the animal but limit potential wolf and human conflicts; and

Whereas, Michigan has an active and legitimate wolf management plan in place that was updated in 2015. While we commend the department for beginning the process of updating this plan again and commend the Natural Resources Commission for setting a plan update deadline of the end of 2021, there is no statutory requirement or precedent to delay a 2022 wolf hunt while the plan is reviewed and updated. Neither is there a requirement for a statewide public attitude survey or study to occur prior to a hunting season; and

Whereas, The law is clear that the commission should, to the greatest extent practicable, utilize principles of sound scientific management in making decisions regarding the taking of game; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge the Wolf Management Advisory Council and the Natural Resources Commission to authorize, and the Department of Natural Resources to organize, wolf hunting and trapping as part of the state's wolf management efforts beginning in 2022; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the Natural Resources Commission and the Wolf Management Advisory Council and the Director of the Department of Natural Resources.