Who speaks for the wolves of Michigan? We do.

Last year, as you may recall, our friend Jeff Clark worked with noted labor historian Peter Linebaugh to produce an ambitious little book which touched on everything from the history of May Day, and the inherent vampirism of capitalism, to the life of Demetrius Ypsilanti, the hero of the Greek Civil War whom our city was named in honor of. The book, titled “Ypsilanti Vampire May Day,” was released on May Day, and copies were available for free to all of those who expressed interest. Well, this year Jeff kept the grass roots publishing tradition alive in Ypsilanti by producing yet another free book. Here’s Jeff explaining how this one, which is all about wolves, came to be.

In December, my daughter Juna learned about the Republican lame duck proposal to resume a wolf hunt in Michigan, and began making pro-wolf flyers. I helped her a little bit, but mostly marveled at that very direct and earnest childhood passion; it was inspiring. Then it occurred to me I could do another gift-economy May Day book. And hit the ground running. I wrote blindly to a couple of key wolf folks, and was in turn put in touch with others. There’s a really nice range — from the early-19th-century oral historian Tsilikomah to Derrick Jensen, with writing about the gray wolf, the red wolf, and the Mexican wolf — each of the three kinds of wolves that hang on in the US.

One thing some of the writing in the book really brings home is that two “facts” we often encounter in journalism about wolves, and from politicians (like the U.P.’s Tom Casperson), are in fact myths: that wolves are a danger to humans, and that they’re detrimental to the ranching industry.

The book was printed by McNaughton & Gunn in Saline. Copies are available in a gift economy (free of charge) at the Ugly Mug, the Coop, and Beezy’s. If reading the book inspires anyone, they should get on the horn with the Natural Resources Commission and voice their opposition to the hunting of wolves in Michigan. They can also check in with Keep Michigan Wolves Protected, to see what volunteer labor is needed right away. Finally, if any of your readers make a practice of calling politicians, they can call the Governor’s office at 517-373-3400, because SB 288, the bill that would sanction wolf hunting, is on his desk right now.

And while the first print run of 500 copies are just about gone (I’ve applied for a grant from the Fund for Wild Nature to print a second run), if anyone’s got strong ideas as to where copies might be sent, and can spearhead that, I’d be happy to bring them copies.

As Jeff mentioned, SB 288, a bill which, in the words of Democratic Representative Jeff Irwin, was “meant to short-circuit the citizen referendum on wolf hunting,” is on the Governor’s desk as this very moment, awaiting his signature.

Here’s the background: During the lame duck session, Michigan Republicans passed a bill to allow wolf hunting. A number of people and organizations then banded together to demand it be put to a vote on our next state-wide ballot, through our state’s well established referendum process. These folks gathered the 250,000 signatures necessary to do just that, but the Republicans introduced legislation that would preempt them, essentially pulling an end run around the democratic process. Their legislation (SB 288), passed the Senate and the House, and now all that stands between us and wolf slaughter is the Governor’s signature.

And, here, for those of you who, sadly, don’t live in Ypsilanti, are a few selected quotes from the new book.

As a country, we rely on the bottom line to settle every argument. Or so we say. But we also, collectively and individually, disregard it, and live beyond our means. Wolf hunts won’t generate much revenue; wolf predation won’t have a measurable impact upon Michigan’s GDP. We aren’t going to settle this matter by arithmetic and bookkeeping. Wolves have haunted the psyche of the Northern Hemisphere out of all proportion to their danger. The reason for that is because they are so beautiful, so much like the dogs we have domesticated and yet so superior to them. We ourselves seem a bit small and grubby by comparison. For some people, that is exactly why we should kill them; and for some, myself among them, that is exactly why we should not.
—Franklin Burroughs

When my son James was eight years old, he started a petition asking our governor to stop predator control in Alaska. The petition was for kids only, no voting-age adults. He gathered over 100 signatures, from King Salmon to Fairbanks. I typed it up just as he dictated it, and drove him places to post it. And I met with his principal after she took the petition off the school’s community bulletin board and called me to her office. She had received calls—some at home, at night—from several people in the town of Tok who were upset that her school in Anchorage would take a side on this issue. They were angry and rude to my son’s principal, but it was my son, and the wolves, who would pay. The petition was not allowed to be circulated on school grounds, she said.
—Marybeth Holleman

The face of the wolf is one of the extraordinary masks of being—a triangle in a circle, a blend of bear and fox—a dense totemic look, a forest visage. The medial line of raised fur that divides a wolf’s face is one of the great edges in nature, keen diameter of perfectly balanced predatory senses. The bilateral symmetry of a wolf’s face comprises one of those rare, ∞nished images of creation, something that could be improved no further. Another 10 million years of evolution and not a hair would move—no more than the shape of sharks will ever change. The wolf’s face, like the face of the bear and the mountain lion, is not so much a mask as nature’s embodiment of the idea of the mask, something ∞nal, like the form of salmon or falcons.
—Christopher Camuto

Why would you want to fell a redwood? Money. Why would you shoot a wolf? Economics, if you are a rancher (but really, the government has you covered). To destroy its grandeur and feel superior to it? A trophy? Like a Vietnam­ese ear? And let’s face it, if you are not going to eat it, which in the case of a wolf you are not, you have come to a place where you identify slaughter with pleasure, the ethos of genocide (the destruction of a tribe). Why should we not genocide wolves? Same reason we should not throw stones at the windows of Sainte Chapelle. Same reason we should not take a hammer to Michelangelo’s Pietà. Same reason we should not shoot Martin Luther King (wasn’t his fearless grandeur fearsome to some?). Same reason the caves of Lascaux need to be closed, so they don’t disappear.
—James Galvin

From the edges of wildness they watch us—
We want them dead.
We do not recognize them for who they are—
We see them as ourselves—
blood-thirsty and ruthless
hiding in the creases of cruelty.

—Terry Tempest Williams

Enough is not enough, instead one must kill for sport on the weekend because of the invisible injuries sustained during the workweek and its paltry psychic life; or dedicate an enormous tract of land to the fattening of livestock in order to make a “living.” When wolves live on the edges of that living they reveal its economic absurdity: a capital offense in every sense.
—Geoffrey G. O’Brien

In 1814, John James Audubon watched a farmer torture three wolves. The farmer had trapped them in a pit after they had killed several sheep and a colt. He jumped into the pit armed only with a knife, hamstrung each wolf as it cowered in fear, and tied it up with a rope. Then he hauled them out one at a time and set his dogs on them as the victim scuffled, crippled, along the ground. Audubon was astounded by the meekness of the wolves and by the glee with which the farmer went about his cruelty; but he was not distressed because both he and the farmer considered torturing wolves a “sport,” something both normal and enjoyable. The sadistic behavior did not warrant comment. Indeed: “Audubon and the farmer shared a conviction that wolves not only deserved death but deserved to be punished for living.”
—Jack Turner

About 2.6 million cattle, including calves, live in Montana. Seventy-four killed by wolves in 2011 out of 2.6 million is less than 0.003 percent. Western Montana, where most wolves live, has fewer cattle than the east side of the state. As of 2009, there were 494,100 cattle there. Seventy-four of these animals were killed by wolves, or less than 0.015 percent of the western Montana cattle population. Similar percentages apply to sheep. There were approximately 33,000 sheep, including lambs, in western Montana in 2009. Wolves were documented to have killed 11 of these animals, or 0.03 percent, in 2011. In that same year, 64 wolves were killed in response, plus 166 were taken in the 2011 hunt, leaving 653 at year’s end (Mallonee, 2011). This is not to say that the loss of a teenager’s 4-H calf or a small operator’s animals are ­not devastating; just that the industry is not at risk.
—Norm Bishop

The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf’s job of trimming the herd to ∞t the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.
—Aldo Leopold

Most of us will hear a wolf rather than glimpse one. Listening involves an experience different from seeing—more porous, less complete. Hearing a howl, we are taken in and taken away, ∞lled with animal otherness and mesmerized by it (sight keeps things at a distance and in perspective). Howl converts our plasma to primal intoxication with the living; our bodies were made with its spectral incantation. Howl runs through us threatening dissolution; it passes through us and we recognize it. Howl calls us out.
—Christine Hume

As soon as members of this culture arrived in North America, they started slaughtering wolves (and polar bears, and cod, and whales, and indigenous humans, and on and on). The humans who already lived here noticed the pattern, and gathered a meeting to try to understand why the whites hated wolves so much, and why the whites were so hell-bent on killing them all. They discussed this for days, and ∞nally came up with their best answer: the whites are completely insane.
—Derrick Jensen

That the People devised among themselves
a way of asking each other questions
whenever a decision was to be made
on a New Place or a New Way
We sought to perceive the ±ow of energy
through each new possibility
and how much was enough
and how much was too much
‘‘Someone would rise
‘‘and ask the old, old question
‘‘to remind us of things
‘‘we do not yet see clearly enough to remember


And, finally, we have this, from a press release put out yesterday by Keep Michigan Wolves Protected:

…If signed into law, SB 288 would result in Michigan’s 7.4 million registered voters losing their right to decide whether to protect Michigan’s declining population of 658 wolves in the November 2014 election. SB 288 was fast-tracked through the legislative process to prevent the Board of State Canvassers from certifying signatures from registered voters in every corner of the state, which would suspend the wolf hunting law until voters could decide the matter on the November 2014 ballot. SB 288 would empower a politically-appointed panel of seven persons, to designate animals as game species without voter oversight.

“Now is the time for Governor Snyder to stand up for the voters of Michigan, to uphold our fundamental democratic principles, and veto SB 288. The legislature wants to silence the voice of Michigan voters, circumvent the democratic process, and nullify the more than 255,000 signatures submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office. We encourage everyone who values their right to vote, and those who want to protect wolves from needless hunting and trapping, to contact Governor Snyder and tell him to veto SB 288,” said Jill Fritz, director of KMWP…

And you read that right. We’re only talking about 658 wolves, across the entire state of Michigan.

Please forward this broadly, and encourage your friends to join you in picking up the phone and calling your elected officials.

[note: The above Michigan tourism ad was produced by one of this site’s readers back in January, as part of our Pure Michigan parody campaign.]

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  1. Posted May 4, 2013 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Does anyone remember the last time a person was killed by a wolf? I find it curious that Republicans want to slaughter wolves citing concerns about public safety, when children are dying every week from gun violence, but, in that case, we’re told that nothing should be done.

  2. Kristin
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    The voters of Michigan passed a law a long time ago giving the DNR the right to make decisions like this. They passed that law precisely so there wouldn’t be a non-scientific outcry based on species. The DNR has always made sound decisions on game animals, based on science. Why are we attempting effectively to repeal the decision we made years ago to allow them to do their jobs? Because we like wolves better than other animals? If you want to ban hunting that’s another issue, but since the DNR has demonstrated competence and no demonstrated failures (as in a species got hunted that then became endangered) I see no reason to anoint the general citizenry with degrees in wildlife management.
    Something I think most people don’t understand is that when a species becomes a game animal, the amount of attention and resources afforded to their care and study rises exponentially. They essentially become someone’s job rather than something on their to-do list.
    The DNR deals with all of our natural resources with little public recognition or support, but when they make a management decision that the uncredentialed citizenry doesn’t like, all of a sudden we pay attention. That’s so true that we even recognized that in ourselves and passed that scientific management law. And before anyone condemns me as a heartless puppy hater I’ll note that I don’t hunt, I don’t eat meat, and I don’t even kill bugs. But I do leave the management of our natural resources to the professionals.
    Try not to get caught up in the fringes on either side of this issue, they are both counterproductive. Don’t “kill ’em all” and don’t pretend that they shouldn’t be subject to the same evaluation every other species in the state is. Extremism is rarely the true answer. Or do, but then I hope I’ll see the same excitement over the rest of the species. Seriously. Why are wolves different? I guess I haven’t talked to anyone about that.

  3. Tammy
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Kristin, have you read the book?

  4. Kristin
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The book of wolf quotes? Is there some science in there and Mark just pulled the inspirational parts?

  5. Kristin
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Because I love to be inspired by nature, but I don’t pretend that my emotions translate into sound management practices. It’s why, despite ever fiber of my being screaming “do it!” I don’t have 50 cats.

  6. Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    As to the question of people killed by wolves, the last time it happened in the US was 2010, in rural Alaska. If you exclude attacks by pet wolves (e.g., in 1981, a two-year-old boy wandered within the chain length of an 80-pound 3-year-old female wolf and was mauled to death — listed as occurring in “Fort Wayne, Michigan”), you have to go back to 1910 to find a second killing in the US.

  7. Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Kristin is a dear friend, and I agree with her on almost everything…. at lest when it comes to politics. And I respect her opinion that we should be driven by facts over emotion when it comes to wildlife management. I don’t hunt, but I don’t have a problem with it. And I’ve come to appreciate over the years the role that it plays in our community. It allows people to put meat on the table, and it helps control certain animal populations. With that said, if it’s true that there are fewer than 500 wolves in the entire state of Michigan, I don’t see as how it could possibly be an issue of needing to control their population. Furthermore, I doubt people eat the wolves that they kill. In this instance, I think it’s the hunting lobby pushing for a change because they want to have another trophy animal to kill. And that, in my opinion, is wrong.

  8. Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Also, it’s worth noting that most of the wildlife restoration projects in the state are made possible by hunting license fees and the charitable contributions of hunters, who are often quite well off financially. Preservation of natural areas is one of the few issues where there’s really some agreement between the right and the left, and I think we need to do a better job of fostering that collaboration. So, I’d hate to see this war between hunters and the left heat up. With that said, though, I really don’t see the logic in killing wolves. If someone could provide me with the data that the pro-wolf hunting side is offering, I’d love to see it.

  9. Kristin
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I really do drive home below the speed limit so I don’t hit a squirrel, but I think the focus of this debate might be better focused towards our current system of management, that treats everything as a resource and charges consumers if that resource -ie hunters- as responsible for paying if the animals and every resource it needs to thrive. That’s why license fees pay for all if us to enjoy natural resources. If we switched from the North American Model (which works, btw, we have more public land and better wildlife than other places that rely on other models) what would we do? How would we pay for the resources? Missouri and Minnesota have designated portion if their sales tax to resource management, and that takes some if the onus off of hunters to pay for it? But there is little taste for that elsewhere. What the DNR is saying now, I believe, is that the wolf population is large enough to start supporting itself. They would issue a number of permits that they know the population could bear, and the sale of those permits would go towards the natural resources the wolf population demands. So think more about that and less about the fear-mongerers. The issue is not wolf danger, the issue is that the population is large enough (science says) to take its place as a sport animal. We have a bobcat season here, which I always think “Really? We have too many?” But that’s not the issue. The issue is that we have enough (science says) for them to contribute to the pot. So come up with another system. We will still have to manage populations, but we could indulge ourselves more on pet species.

  10. anonymous
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Rich, white dudes (like those pictured in the Pure Michigan ad above), like to kill animals they perceive as fierce. It makes them feel tough. Somehow, in their minds, it’s a fair fight. I say we bring back wolf hunting, but take the guns out of the equation. If hunters want to go into the UP and hunt wolves, let them do it with a five inch knife.

    Also, if you think this is being driven by science, you’re out of you mind. This wasn’t proposed by the DNR. This totally came from rich, white dudes who want a new kind of animal head for their wall.

  11. Bill
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    If we left everything up to people with credentials, there would be no wolves left. The book is full of facts, and the voice of science is well represented. And hunting a species that has only recently (2009) be taken off the endangered species list seems like the true “extremism” here.

  12. Edward
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I think the image of the two men dancing with the dead wolves says it all.

  13. EOS
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    It would be limited to a total of 47 wolves in 3 limited areas of the U.P.


  14. Elliott
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    But can we shoot them by helicopter? That’s what I’m waiting for.


  15. atf
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    shall we not question this particular science? so much science is “science” anyway.
    P.S. that Palin video is traumatic, and I don’t even have audio here.

  16. tommy
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    I think I agree – gulp – with EOS. The article references DNR reasoning pretty clearly. There are much bigger issues that people should get there panties in a bunch over. Let the DNR execute their function and move on. Changes to the no fault insurance law? That is something to get ‘your liberal on’ over.

    Regarding that subject, I suggest listening to L Brooks Patterson’s view on this issue.

  17. Posted May 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink


  18. Kristin
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I was going to ask if anyone had read EOS’s link.

  19. josh
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    DNR was actually responsible for a collossal fuckup right here in Ypsi 40 years ago.
    Pretty sure the township is still cashing yearly checks from the DNR over that one.

  20. Posted May 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    If I’m understanding you correctly, Kristin, it’s not that wolves are a danger to anyone, and it’s not that their population has reached a level that’s untenable. It’s that they’re a commodity to be managed, and we can make money by allowing those who can afford it, the right to kill them. And, in a cash strapped state, we need every dollar we can get. I’m not judging. I’m just trying to be clear.

  21. double anonymous
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    The wolves are lucky. If people didn’t want to hunt them, we never would have bothered to have saved them from extinction.

    Also, can you imagine how much money we could raise if we allowed rich white me to hunt humans from helicopters in Detroit? We could make enough to restore social services, put in light rail, fund the schools. It would be incredible. And it would only cost us about one dozen lives. Sounds like a bargain to me.

  22. Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    There is an argument to be made that commodifying game actually helps to make them viable.

    People will be less likely to want them to be extinct if there’s a market for them.

    I’m not defending that idea, just saying that it exists.

  23. Kristin
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Peter has hit the nail on the head. It’s not that it’s just a commodity, but it wouldn’t be eligible for permitted hunting if it wasn’t a secure resource. And as I mentioned earlier, game species are afforded additional attention and resources. As I understand it the benefit to the species outweighs the take, as creepy as that mught seem. I sort if understand zoos the same way. That animal in the cage has a pretty crappy life, but people need to see them in order to care about their well-being. If people were more awesome nothing woukd have to pay the price that way.
    And as an aside, I would caution against the idea of hunters being rich, though they are overwhelmingly white. Most people who hunt in Michigan hunt deer, and they hunt them for meat. If you’ve been in the UP lately you’ll know that it’s not rich sport hunters fretting about the wolves. Off topic, but still.

  24. EOS
    Posted May 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Kristin is 100% correct. If you want to preserve wildlife resources in the State of Michigan, buy a hunting or fishing license, even if you don’t intend to hunt or fish. Thesse funds are restricted for that purpose alone and provide more than 95% of the funds used for this purpose.


  25. Tammy
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Kristin: have you read the book?

  26. Posted May 5, 2013 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    When I talked of hunters being disproportionately well off, I wasn’t referring to deer hunters and the like, so much as those who pay the money to travel and go after animals they see as exotic.

    Also, I like the modest proposal about hunting humans in Detroit. If thats what it takes to have people appreciate the poor, I say we go for it.

  27. Kristin
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Tammy: No.

  28. gadabout44
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Just a comment. I live in Baton Rouge. It’s 60% African American. There are black hunters, that don’t have money. And a quick aside note–alot of black democrat gun owners.

    But there are more white landowners, and white people tend to lease land from white people–true–in LA. Most of them I know are not rich, but they work hard, so they got enough money to join a hunting club. If wolf season comes in down here, you’ll see some trophies in the bait and tackle shops.

  29. gadabout44
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I’m not advocating killing animals for sport alone, and I don’t hunt. Making observation, as I have both black and white friends, and some of them hunt. Most are gun owners.

  30. Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I am not against hunting. I strongly encourage the killing of as many deer as possible.

    Wolves, which are really very good at killing deer, should be off the table for the sake of controlling deer, which cause vast amounts of environmental damage.

  31. Maria
    Posted May 5, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    There’s an interesting story in one of the Little House on the Prairie series where Pa rides home on horseback from town with a pack of wolves . The wolves accompany him for a while and then run off, and they never attack him. There’s also the story about a cougar, which Pa takes very seriously, and it’s intimated that so do the local Indians, (I believe in the very same book, but I can’t recall which one off the top of my head). If you don’t have wolves, will you then have more cougars? There’s quite a bit of deer in Michigan, if you have to pick your predator to help maintain deer populations, within manageable numbers, I’ll go with wolves over cougars.

  32. Posted May 5, 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I like how interesting this conversation became. It’s not as black and white as the media always portrays it to be. Thanks for the insights Kristen, you’ve made me rethink my understanding of the issue, even though I don’t believe my stance has changed.

  33. koosh
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    I wonder how Peter would feel if this bill were about hunting Wolf Eyes instead.


  34. Kristin
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    One more thing, just for sake of discussion (and I swear that I will read the book). In the area where there are wolves the deer population is much less dense than it is here. There aren’t as many in the UP, because it’s not the awesome deer habitat that we have downstate. Warm, low-snow winters and a lot of agriculture. I personally don’t care if people get to hunt deer, but that is another thing that the locals are unhappy about up there. If you hunt deer for meat in the UP you already have it tougher than they do downstate. This is a GIS analysis of wolf habitat that includes the graphic of deer density. http://blogs.dickinson.edu/gis/2012/11/01/gis-analysis-of-grew-wolf-habitats-in-michigan/

  35. anonym
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Kristin, I’m beginning to wonder about your stake in the issue. Are you by any chance a hunter? Or maybe you’re close to someone who is a sport hunter?

    From the study you link to:

    “Overall, it may seem increasing wolf populations would become problematic for farmers and urban populations; overabundance of deer populations generally causes more harm.”

  36. Kristin
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m not, though I live with someone who eats what he kills. In fact I just shared that link to show the map. I can’t for a minute understand why someone would want to shoot an animal, or eat one, for that matter. I too think that natural predation seems like the way to go, but I don’t understand all of the issues. I read the wolf book today, and it reinforces to me that we have a very complicated relationship with the environment, and that most of us don’t understand the lengths that we manage our natural resources. Did you know we manage the level of Lake Ontario? And we managed it poorly so we’re adapting the management of that? http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/areas/greatlakes/policy/why-plan-bv7-works.xml We also manage the Great Lake’s coastal wetlands so we can try, just a little, to replicate how things would have worked had our ancestors not so drastically altered them. So I don’t care for hunting for management at all, personally, but I’m equally dismayed by a state where we don’t acknowledge that humans manage just about everything.

  37. anonym
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    A fast reader!

    It’s like 250 pages long.

  38. Jessamine
    Posted May 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    People who support this law on the grounds that wildlife management should be based in science are correct in reason but not in application. Most of the members of the Natural Resources Commission do not have scientific backgrounds. Meanwhile, countless environmental organization which DO pay attention to the science are against a wolf hunt. The wolf population in Michigan is not anywhere near as high as it should be, and has in fact dropped in the past two years; it is also virtually impossible for wolves to become overpopulated, as they stop breeding when prey becomes scarce. That is the science. Science has also proven again and again that when humans try to come in and “manage” the environment, we muck things up. Nature always finds a balance if you just leave it alone.

  39. Posted May 7, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Michigan has an established system for referendums. A group of citizens gathered signatures for a referendum. Now, the Legislature has decided to pass a law to invalidate the attempted referendum by exclusion. The question is, do the people of Michigan have a right to petition their government, or not?

    To claim the NRC makes science-based decisions, one wonders what examinations regarding understanding science the Commission members have passed before being confirmed to serve?

    Michigan has a population of about 9.9 Million people, and according to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife Associated Recreation, 1.4 Million fish, 501 Thousand hunt, and 3.1 Million watch wildlife. Does the NRC makeup reflect these numbers?

    The people are apparently smart enough to elect representatives and a governor, but not smart enough to listen to two sides of an argument, in this case, wolf hunting, and to make an informed decision? Pretty sad. The legislature should just pass a law making themselves and the governor permanent in their current positions.

  40. Brad Oldenburg
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Am a Michigander by birth, and a nature person at heart. But now living in PA. Sure would love to read Wolf: A Renegade Book. In paper, cuz I like flipping back and forth between pages.

  41. Hillacinth
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I read that Governor Snyder signed this bill into law yesterday. Big surprise there.

  42. JC
    Posted May 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Michigan’s John Vucetich on Hunting Wolves

    John Vucetich, Michigan Tech associate professor of wildlife ecology and co-director of the Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Study, conducted compelling presentations at this year’s 2013 Midwest Wolf Stewards Conference in Silver City, Michigan. What follows, via Norman Bishop, are some of his major points:

    1. The best-available scholarship provides a clear explanation that good wildlife management is a judicious balance between best-available science and democratic principles. State level legislation about wolves is written by politicians or politically appointed Commission members who are not especially well-versed in the science of wildlife management; thus, the resulting decisions are considerably more insulated from the will of citizens as well as from the tenets of good scientific principles.

    2. Wildlife and other natural resources are a public trust, which means that every citizen has an interest and voice in the management of natural resources. By contrast, state level wildlife agencies have a strong tendency to represent hunters’ interests at the expense of representing the interests of the majority of citizens, who are not hunters at the present time.a. Hunting is an honorable tradition, and the voice of hunters is valuable. However, expanding the authority of state level agencies with the ability to (1) name which species of animals can be hunted and (2) regulate the numbers of these animals in the wilderness is a betrayal of the public trust doctrine.

    3. The North American Model of Wildlife Management is essentially a set of seven principles held in high esteem by many hunting organizations as well as wildlife professionals including many members of state wildlife agencies and Commissions.

    4. Many advocates for wolf hunting believe that opposition is just one element of a much larger social force to abolish all forms of hunting. On the other side of the issue, some opponents of wolf hunting believe that wolf hunting represents a path to allowing many cruel and thoughtless forms of hunting that violate the intent of the North American Model.
    5. As a society, we have lost the ability to understand the true value of hunting. Principle #5 of the North American Model states that wildlife should not be killed for “frivolous use.” Stated more straightforwardly, we should not kill a living creature without an adequate reason. Judging what does and does not count as an adequate reason is a responsibility that ethical hunters take quite seriously. There is legitimate concern that advocates of wolf hunting have failed to offer adequate reasons for hunting wolves. Sociological research indicates that non-hunting citizens tend to support hunting when the purpose of a hunt is adequately justified, i.e. consumptive use. Good wildlife management demands good answers to these three questions: What is the goal of any proposed wildlife management action? How will that goal be accomplished? Why is the goal appropriate? There is valid concern that advocates for wolf hunting have not provided adequate answers to those questions. One reason given for the proposed wolf harvest is to protect human and/or livestock safety. These threats, when they occur, must be dealt with swiftly, precisely, thoroughly and immediately. Protecting human and/or livestock cannot wait until the upcoming hunting season, with a hope that some hunter has the good fortune to kill the offending wolf. If genuine concerns are dealt with appropriately then offending and potentially offending wolves would either be dead or living with plenty of fear of humans by the time the next hunting season rolls around. Thus, a wolf hunt is not an appropriate way to promote human and/or livestock safety in any appreciable manner.

    The entire presentation can be seen here:

  43. Edward
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Yes, Snyder signed the bill. Here’s how the Detroit News article starts:

    Gov. Rick Snyder told reporters today a bill he signed that paves the way for a Michigan gray wolf hunt is not about wolves — a claim critics say ignores the intent of the legislation.

    “I didn’t sign a wolf bill recently,” Snyder told reporters in his Capitol office.

    “I was signing a bill that dealt with sound scientific management principles for game and for fish.”

    On Wednesday, Snyder signed Senate Bill 288, which gives the Michigan Natural Resources Commission the responsibility to establish hunting seasons for wild game and the authority to regulate the taking of fish. The legislation exempts the hunting of mourning doves, pets and livestock.

    That bill, which became Public Act 21 of 2013, supersedes legislation passed last year that designated the gray wolf as a game species. Opponents of that law had filed more than 250,000 signatures in the hopes of having the wolf hunt repealed by a vote in the November 2014 election.

    You can find the rest of the article here:

  44. Karl Tetem
    Posted May 10, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    1,200 wolf hunting licenses will be sold, starting on August 3. The cost will be $100 for Michigan residents and $500 for non-residents. I’m not sure how they police it, but they say they’ll limit the number of wolves killed to 43. I imagine you’re given a number to call when you bag one, or something, and that DNR calls all 1,200 hunters when the magic number is reached, telling them to stop shooting.

  45. Rat
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    Snyder should drink wolf blood as he debates his pansy ass Democratic rival for Governor.

  46. maryd
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    According to Scientific American…In response to Director of US Fish & Wildlife Daniel Ashe’s “mission accomplished” statement.
    I’m not so sure. I do believe that the gray wolf’s recovery is, indeed, an amazing achievement and something to loudly and proudly celebrate. But I also believe that many of the states with wolf populations today have shown great disregard for the animals. The number of wolves killed over the past two years—animals that we as a country have spent tens of millions of dollars to recover—should be seen as a national shame. An astonishing 7 percent of the wolves in the Rocky Mountain region were killed in 2012. This year Idaho Governor Butch Otter, who previously declared wolves a “disaster emergency,” vetoed funding for wolf management. That’s not proper management by the states. It’s an invitation to chaos and a potential slaughter.

  47. maryd
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    and the Sierra Club…”“Wolf recovery has been one of our greatest Endangered Species Act success stories, but stopping now before the population is fully recovered will negate the decades of hard work that have gone into bringing wolves back from the brink of extinction,” Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said”

  48. Steve Swan
    Posted June 18, 2013 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    How much does it cost to fuck a wolf? Have we put a price tag on that yet?

  49. double anonymous
    Posted November 8, 2013 at 10:35 am | Permalink



  50. JC
    Posted November 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


  51. double anonymous
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Michigan’s wolf hunt is now underway.


  52. Iggy Pop
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink


  53. Meta
    Posted May 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    “Grey wolf appears in Iowa for first time in 89 years – and is shot dead”


  54. Lady Wolftoss
    Posted October 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink


  55. Posted June 25, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    We need to populate Virginia, Maryland, New York, California and the rest of the United States with wolves, not just a few states. All wolf lovers should go to hell!

  56. Posted November 7, 2015 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Crazy article about wolves – let’s hunt them.

One Trackback

  1. By Iggy and the Wolves on November 16, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    […] Here, by way of background, is a clip from my last post on the subject. […]

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