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Wolf Advocates File Lawsuit Against DNR

Conservation groups are hoping to prevent the opening of wolf hunting and trapping seasons this fall.

The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves filed a lawsuit this week against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), challenging the agency’s failure to provide a formal opportunity for public comment on recently approved rules establishing wolf hunting and trapping.

The conservation groups are seeking a preliminary injunction to prevent the opening of hunting and trapping seasons this fall.

“The state rushed to issue wolf hunting and trapping rules without giving people a real chance to voice their opinions,” said Collette Adkins Giese, a Minneapolis-based attorney with the center. “Especially considering the tremendous controversy around hunting and trapping of Minnesota’s wolves, state officials should have followed the law carefully to make sure they fully understood how the public felt about their decision.”

The groups say Minnesota’s 2001 wolf-management plan provided that wolves would not be hunted or trapped for five years after any removal of their Endangered Species Act protection, but the state legislature eliminated those safeguards last year by passing a budget bill that included a rider authorizing the Department of Natural Resources to open wolf hunting if the agency first provided an opportunity for public comment.

In January 2012, the wolves’ federal protection endangered species status was removed. The lawsuit charges that instead of opening a formal comment period, the DNR offered only an online survey. The groups claim more than 75 percent of respondents opposed the wolf hunt and of 7,351 responses, only 1,542 people supported a wolf season.

Minnesota’s wolf hunting season will take place over the months of November through January, as established by the Minnesota DNR. The season could end earlier if the target harvest of 400 wolves is reached before the end of January. Wolf hunting is scheduled to begin Nov. 3 with the opening of the deer firearms season. The state’s rules provide that 6,000 licenses will be sold.

“Wolves already die at high rates from many causes, including human intolerance and persecution,” said . “Minnesotans benefit economically, culturally and ecologically by having wolves in the wild. As a state, we have so much to gain by keeping wolves undisturbed.”

The lawsuit filed this week asks the Minnesota Court of Appeals to prevent implementation of wolf hunting and trapping rules until the court can issue its decision in the case.

Do you agree or disagree with the wolf hunt in Minnesota? Tell us in the comments area below.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 375,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Howling for Wolves was created to be a voice for wild wolves. It aims to educate the public about Minnesota’s wolf population and let people know how they can take action to keep wild wolves in a self-sustaining existence. For more information: www.howlingforwolves.org.

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Chuck Ashley September 23, 2012 at 06:43 AM
Obviously Bill's knowledge of wolves equal his knowledge of the English language-2nd grade level. I can't tolerate useless idiots who just spew out the same old tired wives tales of wolves at the door. Fools & dolts, crawl back in your cave there Bill, we have more than enough knuckle dragging neanderthals as it is!
Mark Gerold September 23, 2012 at 10:59 AM
Im not Going to lie I Paid $4 to join the wold hunt lottery im an avid hunter and have seen wolves before Staring at me while Im deer hunting so I know I would have a good chance to get one obviously Im not going to eat a wolf but it would be cool to have a wolf pelt wolfs mainly eat deer but they also will eat cattle and the state of Minnesota has paid what like 150 thousand$ to farmers in reimbursement how many farmers do you think go by the rule shoot shutup and shovel if wolves are killing there cattle if the hunt is allowed they could let a hunter who has a license try and rid the farmer of the troubled wolves. there is hunting alowed on almost any animal in the state with a decent population heck Minnesota even has a elk hunting season where they give out like 50 licenses so tell me how is killing 400 wolves when I bet we have over 4000 going to hurt the population? more people applied for the wolf lottery this year than applied for bear hunting and wolves are just as dangerous as bears a wolfs bite is 20 times stronger than any dog all we can do is give the hunt a try we will never know how it works unless we do if its turns out to be a bad thing and dose not work then next year we have no wolf hunt.
Chris wacker September 23, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Deer hunting in MN is big business, let the wolf population go for a couple more years and we wont have a deer season. All of you tree huggers should check the numbers, MN's 3000+ wolves killed nearly 40% of the number of deer that all leagal hunters killed, thats a huge factor resulting in fewer deer tags this year. What are all of these wolves going to eat when the deer are all gone?? Cats, dogs, pets, farm animals?? The hunt isnt to eliminate the, just control. Wake up out there, how many of you have actually seen a wolf?? Killing one for sport is much easier said than done, most guys who get a tag will never see a wolf let alone shoot or trap one. I consider myself to be a better than average outdoorsman living in an area with a strong wolf population. Realistically I have a very poor chance of getting a wolf.
Mark Gerold September 23, 2012 at 10:53 PM
I agree With you 100% Chris since the wolves moved into the area where we deer hunt Zone 172 it has become a lottery zone for doe's and i did not get drawn. I know a thing or two about wolves and one wolf pack takes at minimum one wolf a week if not more. So lets say we got over 3 thousand wolves times let say one deer every two weeks for one wolf thats close to 30 thousand deer per year and it could be closer to 40 thousand. an average deer is what about 70 to 120 pounds of meat pluss its guts so that 10 pounds per wolf times 6 to 7 wolves so there eating at least 10 pounds a week if not more hunting them will help keep the wolves and deer at a stable level.
Chris wacker September 24, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Your math is close Mark, but low. There are "official" numbers out there. Read a great article in a Duluth paper last week, reporter was trying to ride the fence and state the facts for both sides. Numbers dont lie and the howling for wolves group really has no arguement other than they belong here. Deer herd management is a huge business and a great hobby. When the wolves were around in the past there was no deer management and much fewer deer, Resulting in fewer wolves

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