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Voters May Face Dueling Wolf Hunt Ballot Questions in 2014

A petition drive launched this week would leave hunting decisions with the state's Natural Resources Commission.

Photo credit: westdesmoines.patch.com
Photo credit: westdesmoines.patch.com
The battle over wolf hunting in Michigan heated up this week, as a pro-hunting group launched a petition drive to leave decisions about which animals can be hunted with the state's Natural Resources Commission. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, if Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management's drive is successful, state lawmakers could take action that would nullify two ballot proposals to repeal laws that allowed the state's first gray wolf hunt. Since Nov. 15, the Department of Natural Resources reports, 17 gray wolves have been killed. 

In an Mlive.com report, petition drive organizers said their goal is to ensure decisions about what animals to hunt are made based on science. Wolf hunt opponents argue the group has only one motive.

"It was absolutely introduced for one reason and one reason only, and that is to allow them to continue with their wolf hunt," Jill Fritz, head of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected ballot committee and state director for the Humane Society of the United States, told Mlive.com.

If lawmakers take no action on the petition, the issue will be on the 2014 ballot, along with at least one anti-hunt ballot proposal. State lawmakers have passed legislation that rendered the first anti-hunt proposal moot, but Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is working on a second petition drive to repeal the law.

The state's first wolf hunt ends Dec. 31. 

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