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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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Monday, July 28, 2014

Praise for the BATTLECREEK ENQUIRER newspaper's Editorial staff coming out in favor of letting the people of Michigan decide whether wolves should be hunted and trapped.............Here is their take on a Wolf ballot initiative----"We’re not big fans of making policy through ballot initiatives — a blunt instrument that rises and falls less on substance or merit than it does on emotion, and few issues are more emotional — and polarizing — than the debate over wolf management"......... "Yet it’s unseemly — and undemocratic — for an elected body to so blatantly ignore the will of its citizens, particularly absent a compelling public interest that might justify taking an unpopular stand"................"The Republican-controlled Legislature’s zeal to appease a vocal minority — even if it means circumventing voters — only fuels that war"......................"There is no imperative — no pressing public interest — to establish a wolf hunt, certainly not against the will of the majority of Michigan voters, all of whom share an equal stake in the preservation of our natural resources"............ "If lawmakers give a lick about the rights of its citizens and the democratic process, they will let voters decide this issue"

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EDITORIAL: Lawmakers should allow voters to settle debate on wolf hunt

Jul. 26, 2014   |  
The state Legislature has a
reputation for not just
cherry-picking battles,
but choosing winners
 and losers, as well.
We still hold out hope,
 however, that lawmakers
 will do the right thing and
 sit out the pitched battle
over the hunting of
wolves in the Upper Peninsula.
The Board of Canvassers
 on Thursday unanimously
 approved a third wolf petition
 for the November election,
 teeing up an opportunity for
lawmakers to nullify two
 other proposals already on
 the ballot.

The third ballot proposal
 comes courtesy of Citizens
 for Professional Wildlife
Management, which turned
 in nearly 300,000 valid
 signatures, easily
surpassing the required 258,088.
The Legislature has 40
days either to pass the
 initiative, come up with
 a competing proposal,
reject it, or do nothing.
This is one case in which
 doing nothing, which our
 Legislature has been
 known to do on far more
 pressing issues, is the only
 decent alternative.

Were the Legislature to
 pass the initiative — and
 it’s already voted twice
 in the past two years to
 support a wolf hunt —
 it automatically becomes
 law. If they reject it or
 do nothing, the initiative
will appear on the
November ballot along
with two other anti-wolf
 hunting proposals
 that have already been
 approved for the ballot,
 leaving the whole issue
up to voters.
We’re not big fans of
making policy through
 ballot initiatives — a
 blunt instrument that
rises and falls less on
 substance or merit than
 it does on emotion, and
 few issues are more
 emotional — and polarizing
 — than the debate over
wolf management. Yet it’
s unseemly — and
 undemocratic — for
 an elected body to so
blatantly ignore the will
 of its citizens, particularly
 absent a compelling publi
c interest that might justify
 taking an unpopular stand.

Strictly speaking, we do
 not oppose the hunting
of gray wolves. Those who
 do have legitimate objections
 about the haste in which the
Legislature cleared the way
for A hunt, basing its decision
 not on science but on the
discredited ravings of a few
zealots whom it seems would
like nothing better than to see
 the gray wolf again disappear.
Neither are we impressed,
however, with anti-hunting
crowd’s vitriol toward those
 they disparagingly refer to
as “trophy hunters,” as though
 the only legitimate hunters
 were those who did so for
 sustenance and some
spiritual connection to
our lost wilderness.
Wildlife management
isn’t romantic nor, for
many, is hunting, but
hunters play an integral
 role in the states’
management of the wild,
 and those states, including
Michigan, have an excellent
 track record of managing
other formerly rare species
 such as deer, elk, mountain
 lions and black bears. What's
 more, wildlife management
 experts and biologists
understand that wolves are
good for the ecosystem and
 are highly motivated to see
 the species succeed. So are we.

Forget hunting. A far greater
threat to the future of the gray
 wolf in North America is the
vicious cultural war that puts
this beautiful predator species
 — demonized by myth and
ignorance — in the middle of
 a zero-sum game that
 marginalizes efforts to
educate the public and
create consensus-based policies.
The Republican-controlled
Legislature’s zeal to appease
 a vocal minority — even if i
t means circumventing voters
 — only fuels that war.There is
 no imperative — no pressing
 public interest — to establish
 a wolf hunt, certainly not against
the will of the majority of Michigan
 voters, all of whom share an
equal stake in the preservation
 of our natural resources. If
lawmakers give a lick about
 the rights of its citizens and
 the democratic process, they
 will let voters decide this issue.

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