Fight Over Wolf Management Heats Up In Michigan
The battle over how to manage wolves in Michigan is heating up some more. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is going in with her counterpart from Oregon filing a court brief against the US Fish and Wildlife Service. They’re upset at the government removing the Gray Wolf from the list of America's endangered species.
The wolf population in the Upper Peninsula has done quite well. That success has been used in part by federal wildlife managers to decide federal oversight is no longer needed for gray wolves. Some residents of the Upper Peninsula say the wolves are doing so well the UP deer herd is taking a big hit.
Even the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, the largest coalition of outdoor and hunting groups in the state stands with the fed's decision to delist gray wolves as an endangered species.
But AG Nessel points an accusing finger at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She is going so far as to accuse the department of ignoring specific guidelines of the Endangered Species Act to “delist” the gray wolf throughout America.
Nessel contends USFWS administrators are purposely messing with wildlife management policies. “By delisting the gray wolf nationwide, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service abandoned its obligation to protect endangered gray wolves wherever they are found. Turning cooperative federalism on its head, the Service weaponized our effective wolf recovery in the Great Lakes region against wolf populations struggling to recover in other states.”
MUCC Executive Director Amy Trotter however says the decision clears the way for more localized management decisions. That she says, is always a positive. “The Western Great Lakes Region gray wolf population is beyond recovered. Science dictates the management decisions of our natural resources in Michigan, and the wolf population in our state needs management.”