Michigan voters say “No” to wolf hunting

wolf eating
CC BY 2.0 Andrew Gatt

Yesterday, Michigan residents voted down a proposed wolf hunt, along with a second hunting-related proposal that would give power to a seven-person Natural Resources Commission to determine which species can be designated for game.

The Detroit Free Press reported that the first proposal was voted down 55 percent to 45 percent, while the second proposal was defeated by an even wider margin of 64 percent to 36 percent.

However, the voter’s word won’t be the final say. Legislation passed after the two referendums were added to the November ballot already overrides the two proposals that voters just rejected. The Natural Resources Commission still retains the power to authorize a hunt for any species of animal, except the sandhill crane and species under federal protection.

“We do intend to sue to overturn it in court,” Jill Fritz, director of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign, told TreeHugger last month. She said that a “no” vote on both referendums would pave the way for the lawsuit.

The Natural Resources Commission, which is a politically appointed body and not elected, could still respect voter wishes for there to be no wolf hunt in the state. “The NRC should honor the judgment rendered by voters come 2015, regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit to nullify the third wolf-hunting bill enacted by the legislature,” Fritz said in a statement from the Humane Society.

Michigan voters say “No” to wolf hunting
However, the voter’s choice won’t be the final say.

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