Michigan's professional biologists say that the wolf population is stable after Michigan's first regulated wolf hunting season, as the hunt was designed.
Department of Natural Resources biologists say that the minimum winter count of wolves-at the low point in their yearly cycle- is estimated at 636 wolves, within the margin of error from last year's estimate.
It's no surprise that the hunt had a negligible impact on the overall U.P. wolf population. It was designed to reduce the wolf population in three small zones of the Upper Peninsula where they've killed pets, livestock and hunting dogs, and to use public hunting to make wolves more wary of people.
Hunters harvested 22 wolves, almost all within five miles of a depredation site.
Of course, it's also no surprise that the extreme activists opposing the wolf hunt, no matter what the science says, are using the same population estimate to call the wolf population "fragile," when actual professional biologists are calling it "stable."
That's why we need to manage fish and wildlife with sound science, not talking points.
The Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act will make sure that we make those decisions on the basis of biology by allowing the Natural Resources Commission to name game species and issue fisheries orders, and require them to use sound science when making those decisions. It also provides $1 million to fight Asian carp and keep hunting and fishing licenses free for our troops.
I have already signed the petition to initiate this law, and I encourage my legislators to vote for it when hundreds of thousands of Michigan citizens as you to vote for it. We need to make fish and wildlife decisions with sound science, not sound bites.