Indigenous groups call for wolves to be put back on the Endangered Species List

Michigan

FILE – This April 18, 2008, file photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife shows a gray wolf. As many as one-third of Wisconsin’s gray wolves likely died at the hands of humans in the months after the federal government announced removal of legal protections, according to a study released Monday, July 5, 2021. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Gary Kramer, File)

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (WLNS) – Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that it will not consider a wolf hunting or trapping season until 2022 at the earliest.

That announcement came on the same day the Global Indigenous Council released a short film denouncing the spring wolf hunt in Wisconsin as well as new wolf hunting measures in Montana and Idaho.

Gray wolves once ranged from Alaska to Mexico but were basically wiped out in the Lower 48 states by people who considered them a nuisance. Since then, the animals have made a comeback in the Great Lakes and Rocky Mountain regions thanks to federal protections through the Endangered Species List.

However, wolves were de-listed in January, giving individual states control over their management. In Wisconsin, pro-hunting sued the DNR to require a wolf hunt in February. They were concerned that the new Biden Administration would reinstate federal protections before a wolf hunt could be held in the fall.

According to a study by the University of Wisconsin released on Monday, the Wisconsin wolf hunt killed as much as a third of the state’s wolf population in less than three days. The state’s DNR did not respond to requests for comment on that study by the Associated Press. its website says it is preparing for another hunting and trapping season this fall.

The new short film from the Global Indigenous Council, entitled “Family,” criticized the Wisconsin wolf hunt as cruel and claimed it was a violation of treaties with Wisconsin’s indigenous groups. It also praises the history between wolves and humans, which led to the creation of dogs. The film calls on Interior Sec. Deb Haaland to reinstate federal protections for the gray wolf in the Lower 48 states.

Click here to watch the film on YouTube, but viewer discretion is advised since some of the footage could be upsetting.

The Michigan DNR estimates there are around 600 wolves in our state, including a closely monitored population on Isle Royale, which is the subject of a decades-long wildlife study. The State Senate adopted a resolution in March encouraging the Michigan DNR to establish a wolf hunting and trapping season before the end of 2021.

That resolution argues that the population of wolves in our state is large enough to sustain controlled hunting. It adds that there is no need to delay that hunt so the DNR can finish its new wolf management plan or perform public opinion polls.

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