The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is updating the state's wolf management plan and is seeking public comment, via an online survey through Jan. 31, about the future of wolf management.
The plan, created in 2008 and updated in 2015, was developed using extensive public input to identify important issues and assess public attitudes toward wolves and their management, and by reviewing the biological and social science relevant to wolf management.
“We encourage our members to provide comment to the Department of Natural Resources,” says Andrew Vermeesch, legislative counsel for Michigan Farm Bureau. “New public input gathered on the previous plan will help inform an updated plan, which will be completed this year.”
The four principal goals within the 2015 plan are to:
- Maintain a viable wolf population.
- Facilitate wolf-related benefits.
- Minimize wolf-related conflicts.
- Conduct science-based and socially acceptable management of wolves.
The plan and these four goals have guided wolf management in Michigan for the past 13 years. The 2022 update will include recent scientific literature and new information regarding wolves in Michigan.
"As we work to update the 2015 wolf management plan, it's important that we gather feedback from the public about how we can improve the plan to protect the long-term health of wolves while also meeting the needs of local communities," Cody Norton, DNR large carnivore specialist, said in a statement.
Michigan's gray wolf population was nearly eliminated by the mid-1970s because of active predator control programs in the early part of the 20th century. Today, Michigan's wolf population numbers close to 700 in the Upper Peninsula. Gray wolves were removed from the federal endangered species list in early 2021, a decision that is being challenged in court.
Those interested in providing feedback should complete the online survey by Jan. 31.
For more information about wolves in Michigan, including links to the survey and the state's wolf management plan, visit michigan.gov/wolves.