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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Michigan environmental Advocacy Group, KEEP WOLVES PROTECTED, is getting the word out to stop the killing of up to 43 Wolves in Michigan's Upper Peninsula starting November 15................. Michigan law already allows farmers, ranchers and pet owners to kill wolves threatening their animals................ In fact, the Dept. of Natural Resources sanctioned the killing of 89 wolves in Michigan over the past decade based on this paradigm.................There are only some 600 Wolves in this recovering population and therefore many biologiists feel that it is way to premature for any sport hunting season to take place..........Every piece of peer reviewed science(See Trent University paper on this subject by Linda Rutledge) regarding Wolf Pack culture reveals that there is no good reason to ever sport-hunt Wolves............Human hunting of Wolves results in social disruption of their Packs which precipitates a breakdown in the top down biological diversity stabilizing impacts that Wolves bestow on the full array of plants and animals in a given natural system...............The people of Michigan sought to have a referendum on the Wolf hunt which Legislators circumvented by doing an "end-around" and passing Senate Bill 288 (Public Act 21 of 2013) just weeks after the qualifying signatures were submitted............This allowed the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, in addition to the legislature, to add Wolves to the list of game species that could be hunted..................KEEP WOLVES PROTECTED has launched a 2nd petition referendum to restore peoples rights to vote on whether Wolves should be hunted and needs 225,000 signatures to get on a November 2014 ballot........................Support this effort and the people of Michigan might just overturn future Wolf hunting seasons going forward

                                                 KEEP MICHIGAN WOLVES PROTECTED
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                             CONTACT: Jim Karshner, 517-896-2004
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013                                                                           

Michigan's Upcoming Wolf Hunting Season Based on Fear, not Facts
The sale of 1,200 wolf hunting licenses beginning this weekend

LANSING, MICH. – After wolves were trapped, shot and poisoned to near extinction 50 years ago, Michigan's upcoming sport hunting season on this fragile, still-recovering species is unnecessary, irresponsible and based on flawed data. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources begins selling 1,200 licenses on Saturday, Sept. 28 to kill 43 wolves in three designated areas of the Upper Peninsula starting Nov. 15.

"There is no scientific justification for a wolf hunt—people can already shoot wolves that are threatening livestock or property, and people don't hunt wolves for food," said Jill Fritz, director of Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. "This wolf hunt is not based on science, but on politics. When more than 250,000 Michigan voters signed a petition to place the wolf hunting law on the November 2014 ballot, the politicians in Lansing did an end run around the people and decided to allow a wolf hunt anyway before we could even vote on the issue. That's just not right and it's an abuse of power."

The quota of 43 wolves this hunting season could expand to hundreds more  in future seasons, and could also include the use of inhumane, painful steel-jawed leghold traps.

Even though the state's wolf population has declined from 687 to 658 in just two  years, the legislature pushed through a wolf hunting season based on a perceived increase of wolf-livestock conflicts. However, recent information uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act request tells a different story.
FOIA documents reveal alarming details of a DNR investigation into a Matchwood farm, in Ontonagon County, owned by John Koski. An examination of DNR statistics of confirmed livestock losses due to wolves in one of the designated areas (includes Ontonagon, Baraga and parts of Houghton counties) reveal that the vast majority occurred on the Koski farm. Within that zone during the period of 2010 to 2013:
  • 73 percent (57 of 78) of wolf conflicts with livestock occurred on the Koski farm;
  • 80 percent (96 of 120) of individual livestock confirmed killed by wolves were on the Koski farm;
  • 82 percent ($32,936 of $40,098.51) of all compensation for livestock lost to wolves has gone to the Koski farm; and
  • 64.4 percent (96 of 149) of the cattle killed by wolves in the entire U.P. in the past 3 years have been on the Koski farm.
The investigation noted that Koski failed to use nearly $4,000 of non-lethal wolf deterrence methods, including fencing and donkeys, which the DNR provided to him free of charge. In fact, a DNR investigator and accompanying veterinarian found that Koski allowed two of the donkeys to die and a third was removed because of extremely poor health due to lack of care. The DNR also found that Koski failed to provide proper care and water for his own cattle and left carcasses on his property to attract predators.
Michigan law already allows farmers, ranchers and pet owners to kill wolves threatening their animals. In fact, the DNR has sanctioned the killing of 89 wolves in Michigan over the past decade, including dozens as a result of Koski's complaints.

Hunters won't be targeting problem wolves, but randomly killing animals in forests and wilderness areas.

Lansing politicians wrongly gave the seven, unelected members of the Natural Resources Commission authority to open hunting seasons for wolves and dozens of other protected species. This measure will restore the right of Michigan voters to have a voice on wildlife policy through the referendum process, and stop this abuse of power.

Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, a coalition of Upper and Lower Peninsula residents, animal welfare organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, conservation groups, Native American tribes, wildlife scientists and veterinarians, recently launched a second petition referendum to restore people's rights to vote on important wildlife issues. The group hopes to collect at least 225,000 signatures to qualify for the November 2014 ballot.

  • December 2012 – A bill was rushed through the House and Senate that designates wolves a game species and authorizes the Natural Resources Commission to establish an open season on wolves. Gov. Snyder signs the bill into law and it becomes known as Public Act 520 of 2012.
  • January 2013 - Keep Michigan Wolves Protected forms. A coalition of conservation groups, animal welfare organizations, Native American tribes, wildlife scientists, veterinarians, hunters, farmers and more than 7,000 citizens in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas launches a petition drive to protect the state's fragile wolf population.
  • March 2013 – After 67 days, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected submits more than 255,000 signatures in an effort to overturn the law that allows for the cruel and pointless hunting and trapping of wolves.
  • May 2013 – Legislators circumvent the will of the voters and pass Senate Bill 288 (Public Act 21 of 2013) just weeks after the qualifying signatures were submitted, allowing the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, in addition to the legislature, to add animals to the list of game species that can be hunted. If the NRC makes such a designation, Michigan voters would be unable to reverse their decision because it is an act of a regulatory body and not the legislature.
  • May 2013 – The Board of State Canvassers certifies Keep Michigan Wolves Protected petition signatures to place the wolf hunt referendum on 2014 ballot.
  • August 2013 – Keep Michigan Wolves Protected launches a second referendum campaign to repeal Public Act 12 of 2013 and restore voters' rights on important wildlife issues.

Michigan residents interested in volunteering, donating or learning more about the issue can visit

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