PRO-Conservation WOLF OP-ED RESPONSE in Newspaper
[Reprinted from original]
Original Title: Wolves in the U.P.
In response to Kevin Crupi’s letter regarding “Wolf Decision” published in this column on December 9, he is 100% wrong. He provides no scientific date or analysis for his position that the wolf should be not managed through hunting or trapping. Since he failed to do that, I will supply the facts as to why the wolf population needs to be controlled through hunting and trapping.
In 1997 the Michigan Gray Wolf Recovery and Management Plan was implemented in Michigan. The individuals that were on the team that drafted this plan consisted of individuals from the following agencies: Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, U.S. Forest Service and National Parks Service. Not what you would classify as an uninformed group.
The document is very in-depth but I will just touch on a couple issues dealing with wolf recovery in the U.P.
According to the Plan: “The goal is to establish and maintain a population of gray wolves in the Upper Peninsula at a level that assures wolf population sustainability and is consistent with available wolf habitat and compatible with human land practices.”
“Wolves will be considered recovered in Michigan with a winter population of 200 wolves for five consecutive years. The wolf should then be recommended for removal from the Michigan Endangered Species List. When the minimal sustainable population goal is attained, the wolf should be considered for reclassification and regulation under the Michigan Wildlife Conservation Act.”
“Some degree of wolf population stabilization or control is likely. Agencies need to communicate with the public that some wolves will likely need to be killed under controlled conditions in the future.”
In Mr. Crupi’s letter he admits that the U.P. wolf population is between 600-700 animals, well past the 200 animals under the Plan for wolves to be considered recovered and to be managed. For the record, regardless of what certain agencies project the number at today, I believe there are over 3,000 wolves in the U.P.
Anyone that spends any amount of time hunting deer in the U.P. knows that the wolves have decimated the deer heard in vast areas of the U.P. Along with that comes the economic devastation; no deer, no hunters. Business will not survive. Factor in COVID 19, and it’s economic devastation for many small businesses.
I could go on and on but space limits my response. In closing, I urge you to contact your state legislators and tell them to review the 1997 Michigan Gray Wolf Recovery and Management Plan and follow the plan and implement a hunting and trapping season on wolves in the U.P. as soon as they become delisted (we will see if this actually occurs). After all, in this day and age, aren’t we suppose to follow the science?
Perry R. Lund