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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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Valerie Engler September 21, 2012 at 03:03 PM
I don't understand hunting in general, but that's probably because I'm from San Diego. And hunting wolves? No thank you!
Julie Ahasay September 21, 2012 at 07:32 PM
I live in northeastern Minnesota and am totally opposed to this hunt. There is so much evidence that it is unnecessary and the methods being allowed are cruel and inhumane.
James McDevitt September 21, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Rediculous! And how is this not wanton waste?? Plus the use leg hold traps is probably the most inhumane way to treat these animals...what a joke. Let them be!! Irresponsible disrespectful garbage!
Caro de Courbeville September 21, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Discutting, these people don't hunt, they just kill, they don't have any respect. Let the wolves be!
Dominic Emola September 21, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Allowing these wolves to be hunted is nothing more than a money making scam. Selling 6,000 licenses and only 400 wolves can be harvested. What a joke, if this hunting season is allowed than not only am I ashamed to be human but I am ashamed to be Minnesotan. Also considering the survey, so many people didnt even know about it so it didnt give everyone the chance to vote against it, because I know I would have. Furthermore, trapping is a sick form of killing, not hunting because that is a form of torture.
Mary September 21, 2012 at 09:28 PM
About time there is a Lawsuit. Decision was wrong for many many reasons and rushed for the benefit of a few and to the detriment of the environment.
Chuck Heubach September 21, 2012 at 09:37 PM
And even the survey...as flawed as it is...ran 70% against the wolf hunt! This is a classic case of the government NOT doing the will of the people!
Cathryn Corey September 21, 2012 at 09:45 PM
It is not in the best interest of the people of Mn to support a wolf hunt. Hunting wolves is for the very few who love to kill!! It is not for eating, just sport. How disgusting Mn is in taking this course. I support the lawsuit against the DNR!!
Steve Huntley September 21, 2012 at 10:03 PM
Exactly. The DNR "Survey" was a complete joke. They had already decided to do the hunt when they quietly posted the survey on their website. Not exactly the way it's supposed to be done. Also they didn't seem to care one bit about the results of their own survey because the vast majority of people that responded were opposed to the hunt. Many of the people that were in favor of the hunt were very much opposed to trapping though. The DNR was trying to slide one by us. They are doing the same thing with mineral mining in Northern Minnesota. The DNR is completely off the rails on this stuff....
Chuck Ashley September 21, 2012 at 10:55 PM
This wolf hunt is based on DNR greed, nothing More! Selling 6000 licenses but cap the hunt with only 400 animals-yeah right. The DN R KNOWS mass poaching is going to take place but they do NOT care as their own Commissioner said he likes the shoot,shovel & shut up system already in place. The DNR is in it for the money, not just licenses, no there is a much Bigger haul coming from the Sulfide mining interests who will soon get 86,000 acres of pristine BWCA wilderness land if Chip Cravaack's bill HR 5544 passes-Google it & research fot yourself! The DNR is going to do a Mineral tract sale in Bemidji & these Sulfide mining corporations are salivating to get these tracts of land. What does this have to do with wolves you ask? The wolf if protected keeps the Sulfide miners OUT of our wilderness, unprotected & they are Free & Clear-That is where the REAL $$$$$$$$$ to get the wolves de-listed is coming from, ask Sen Klobuchar who led the way along with Sen. Franken. Sen Klobuchar stated at a Conservation dinner in February that she wants to be the 1st woman Senator to bag a wolf, why should the Governor get all the fun-let her know how you feel this November!
Shannon Reiter September 22, 2012 at 01:07 AM
How is it that the DNR can skirt all the rules to make this happen? Killing wolves is nothing more than a thrill kill for the disgusting people that would actually partake in this hunt. It's so messed up. Minnesota is supposed to be the most progressive and modern states in the midwest, but having this hunt makes me ashamed to be Minnesotan.
Speaking for Wolves September 22, 2012 at 02:52 AM
I'm not a hunter, but my husband and father are, they hunt prey animals, wolves are not prey animals, so they won't hunt them. Hunting wolves goes against nature, they are the top predator in their envirnoment, they keep deer population healthy by eating the weak ones, ones who would starve to death or carry disease, and more than likely wouldn't make it through the winter anyway. It really saddens me that the will of a few in our state can have a greater impact on our gov't than the will of the majority, I've talked to so many people who are just sick that this wolve hunt is slated for this winter, I hope that this lawsuit will wake the DNR up and get them to do their job and keep our wolves safe this year and every year.
Sue Sorensen September 22, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Agree. I can't fathom killing another sentient being, and we all are. Trapping and hunting wolves? It is sport. They use this as entertainment. Get an Xbox!
Sue Sorensen September 22, 2012 at 04:40 AM
And it doesn't just trap wolves. Dogs, fox, rabbits, you name it have been found languishing in pain for days. Many starve, die of exposure or thirst. Trapping needs to stop!
Linda Rolf September 22, 2012 at 08:16 AM
When the Endangered Species Act (1973) was passed the Minnesotan wolves were the only ones to survive in the lower 48 states. All the other states that had wolves allowed them to be ruthlessly killed. The killing has picked up again since the wolves were delisted this year with all states with wolves organizing hunts. Minnesota has never hunted wolves before and we don't need to start now. Studies show that wolves monitor their own populations (i.e. from having less pups during hard times). The wolf hunt is about power and greed--not wolves. Please say "NO" to this hunt!
Bill Smith September 22, 2012 at 01:34 PM
This houling for wolfs group is a scam. The ads they ran on WCCO last spring were 90% lies and 10% fiction. Let's get this wolf population reduction going this year.
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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