Proposals 1 and 2: Protect the wolves or make them game?

Michigan voters in November will decide whether wolves are a game species and open them up to hunters.

Ballot proposals 14-1 and 14-2, referendums of Act 520 of 2012 and Act 21 of 2013, respectively, have been passed in the Legislature. The ballot proposals leave it up to the voters to further endorse or outright reject the two laws.

Proposal 1 would designate wolves as game species, authorize the first wolf hunting season, allow the state Natural Resources Commission to schedule further annual wolf hunting seasons, create a Wolf Management Advisory Council, and establish licensing and penalties for lawful and unlawful hunters of wolves.

Proposal 2 would deal with broader hunting measures as well as the regulation of hunting wolves. The proposal would allow the state NRC to decide what animals are game and when they can be hunted without legislative action, would keep the current designation of wolves as game and allow the NRC to designate wolf hunting season, grant the state legislature sole power over removing a species from the list of game animals, would eliminate the one dollar licensing fee for military personnel inside or outside of Michigan, and would give the NRC sole power over the regulation of fishing.

The pending proposals have caused the NRC to cancel this year’s wolf hunt; the first organized hunt of wolves in Michigan was held last year. Even if the proposals pass, the NRC would not have enough time to establish the wolf hunt for this year.

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