Second wolf hunt ballot proposal approved; ballot likely to be a mess

May 6, 2014
By
(source: Wikimedia Commons)

(source: Wikimedia Commons)

This is a great way to turn voting into a chaotic mess.

LANSING — A second ballot proposal to try to stop the hunt of gray wolves in the Upper Peninsula was deemed to have enough valid signatures on Tuesday and will appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

The proposal, which would repeal a law passed by the Legislature in 2012, had 182,732 valid signatures, exceeding the required 161,305 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot.

If you haven’t been following Michigan’s wolf hunting saga, know this: By the time the general election comes around, there may be three ballot proposals asking for your thoughts on wolves, and if they should be hunted. (If you need a good primer on why Michigan went this route, Keith Matheny of the Freep did an excellent story last year that you can find here.)

First, Michigan legislators passed a law during the hellish 2012 lame duck session designating wolves as a species that could be hunted. Then, the Natural Resources Commission set a hunt for last fall.

A group immediately responded to the slated hunt and gathered enough signatures to ask voters in the November 2014 election to repeal the law that started the entire process, PA 520.

But, because our state lawmakers have a penchant for democracy, the legislature passed a second bill, which allowed the Natural Resources Commission to designate wolves as a game species unilaterally, without legislative approval. Therefore, the first ballot referendum approved for the November 2014 ballot is nullified.

Confused? Annoyed? We agree. It’s ridiculous. Try to keep up.

The proposal approved today for the ballot would repeal that second law, PA 21 of 2013. If those both are approved by voters (we guess?), the wolf hunt would be called off.

Or would it?

Meanwhile, a group dedicated to preserving the wolf hunt is collecting signatures for an initiative that would give the Legislature a chance to strengthen PA 21 before the referendum on it comes to a vote in November. And if the Legislature fails to act on that petition initiative, the proposal would wind up on the November ballot alongside the other two wolf questions.

So, if the Legislature doesn’t act on the pro-wolf hunt’s referendum, there would be three wolf ballot proposals for voters to decide. And, as the Freep reports, it that one receives the most votes, the anti-wolf group’s proposals would be axed.

Are you lost? As Stephen Henderson, correctly, pointed out in March, that’s the point of all this bullshit, no? To ensure voters are so wildly confused that they simply check off no for everything? That was the buzz around town in 2012 when the state had six proposals on the ballot. Voters would be overwhelmed and choose ‘no’ for everything.

This all stems from Lansing’s insistence to override the will of the people. There was a simple ballot proposal that would’ve let voters decide if the wolf hunt should stand. But lawmakers weren’t having it.

And because of that, we’ll have a confusing ballot. Well done.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Wolves are neat animals but they need to be hunted, or controlled somehow. So long as there are people, there is trash for them to eat. There are too many deer, because they can eat trash, and our crops, so then then the logical conclusion is tons of wolves. Its easy to maintain.

    The staff needs to share why hunting wolves is so bad?

    Also I want to suggest, that people in the metro area, love the idea of going north of grayling and see a wolve in the safety of their car, show their kid, take some pic, post on facebook etc. They will come further south, the DNR picked up one from a guy i know, who shot one with a DNR tag on it near metamora.

    It will not be long before they are in ann arbor, south lyon etc. Then they will follow the rivers and creek beds and be in detroit.

    THEN the fun begins. People will freak out when in tall grass by the bus stop for THEIR kids, the peaceful majestic animals follow their children.

    How about you live just a bit in the burbs, you live on 5 acres, and there are wolves … it is not fun to hear your wife say she was gardening, or bringing in groceries and three wolves were scoping her out and stalking here from the corner of your property to the home.

    THEN people will want it addressed.

    This is like california, people love mountain lions and things like that, as long as its atleast two towns away. Once they kill your dog, kill your cat, then they are not so cool, and people grow to hate them.

    PS the friend that shot the wolf, the DNR said nah, you are mistaken there are no wolves that far south. He said, ohh thats crazy, it has a DNR tag on it, then they were there with in a half hour to pick it up.

  • Guest

    No they don’t. Wolf hunters should be hunted.

  • Guest

    Hunters are worthless anti-wildlife terrorists.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    nature works out a good balance when there is no man around.

    Explain how things are and remain natural in balance with man ?

    Please be very specific.

    Also reconcile how animals hunt, and you love them, but if man hunts the same animals, he is not even good, but in your words a terrorist. It does not seem like you put any amount of thought into this at all.

    Its like you are regurgitating what someone else told you.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Cool, thanks for giving the blessing to hunt wolves. You think if someone hunts they should be hunted. That is your value, your morals.

    Well wolves are hunters. Thanks you just gave me a pass to hunt them.

    I had no interest before, I only hunt or fish what I eat, but because of you, i am going to take up wolf hunting.

    You basically made me kill a wolf. Half to spite you, half because you gave me the moral ethical pass, since wolves kill, they deserve to die.

  • Guest

    Hunters need to be managed. Harvest a wolf hunter, save a wolf

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Yeah thats realistic. You are a self loathing human. Also you have the problem solving skills of a small child.

    WHY SAVE A WOLF? YOU HATE THINGS THAT KILL! WOLVES ARE KILLING MACHINES!

  • Guest

    Hunters should be managed as they are vermin. Hunters are anti-wildlife terrorists. Harvest a hunter, save wildlife

  • Guest

    Wolves harvest other animals to survive you ignorant POS. Wolf hunters are vermin.

  • NormMackey

    This claimed need to reduce wolf population is not supported by the actual wolf population, which has stabilized well below numbers needing such control, and Your logic is very like that which was used to support a bald eagle bounty in Alaska. The claim was that, unhunted, bald eagles would inevitably increase and destroy the salmon, then proceed to wipe out other species and threaten humans, as well as already rampant tales of havoc on farmers’ lambs and fox pups in fur farms. These claims, which resulted in the useless killing of over 120,000 for which bounties were paid, supported an eagle bounty from 1919 until 1953.

    Did eagles then increase to wipe out salmon stocks, go on to decimate other fish and mammals, etc? Of course not. They defended their breeding territories from other eagles, limited their own numbers. Just as wolves are doing.

    BTW, where sport hunting of mountain lions has been banned in the western US, in actuality the reported problems with predation have DECLINED.

  • NormMackey

    Wolves remain in balance below numbers that prevent their prey species from increasing, because they are apex predators, i.e. ones evolved to control their own numbers without the need for a predator of their own. They do this by adding nonbreeding members to their packs when unmolested by hunters, and maintaining and defending huge territories relative to the pack size, removing or excluding smaller wolf packs.

    Attempting to “manage” wolves by allowing sport hunters to shoot them out of the packs at random is absurd, destroying their ability to do this and effectively trying to run the natural population controls backwards.

    Nearly all of those killed are unneeded for their packs to breed, being replaced by other wolves if they are of the breeding pair, and providing more packs habitat to establish.

    Example: killing 2 of a pack of 8 wolves does not just increase the breeding rate from 1 litter per those 8 adult wolves to 1 litter per 6 wolves, but will provide habitat for a breeding pair to establish a new pack, making it 2 litters per 8 wolves in the same area. Doubling the number of pups that are born. If the DNR were serious about ACTUALLY managing wolves, they would have professionally removed the 43-wolf quota as 10 or 15 or so of the smallest whole packs in the places they allowed hunting, IMMEDIATELY assuring 60 or 100 fewer pups would be born in the spring. Instead, to provide amateur hunters targets for political reasons, they decided to treat them like deer and ignore actual science.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    Wolves do not harvest, they kill. They do do it to survive, but wolves are actually quite cruel. They are among the animals that torture other animals, thrill kill, and kill for fun and sport. Also african dogs do this, chimps, dolphins, killer whales and probably more that i cannot think of off the top of my head.

    Ohh cats. Cats large and small do this also. Wolves kill for fun and sport!

    Get educated. Nothing is more loathsome then a nature loving person who is uneducated on nature and has created some fake world they imagine, that exists only in their mind. You are ignorant on the subject.

  • javierjuanmanuel

    just thought of another. Racoons thrill kill and attack for fun. I just read an article a couple weeks ago by a vet sharing how racoons in SF jump out of trees, jump on a dogs face, and gouge eye balls out. They swing out of trees, and push dogs off sea walls into the bay!

    They do this for fun!

  • javierjuanmanuel

    So you admit its a problem?

  • NormMackey

    Sport hunting of wolves is, yes. Did you read what I wrote? There is no known current problem with the sable wolf population numbers, and the DNR states it has no plans for lowering it.

  • NormMackey

    Raccoons in Science Fiction? The ones in San Francisco avoid dogs like anywhere else, and hide in the storm sewers during the day (the climate lets them do this almost all year, especially this year).