IRON RIVER— The West iron District Library will host guest speaker Nancy Warren with a presentation entitled Coexisting With Wolves at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 at the West Iron District Library.
On Jan. 14, the committee to Keep Michigan Wolves Protected launched a referendum campaign against PA 520.
The act classifies the gray wolf as a game species, and took effect Dec 28, 2012. Now, 225,000 signatures are being sought before a due date of March 27. Recent news articles have quoted DNR officials who claim that the referendum is “premature and ill-advised.”
“The fact is, we have 90 days from the end of the last legislative session to gather the necessary signatures to place this issue on the 2014 ballot,” says Adam Robarge, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected UP, coordinator. “The referendum process is most certainly moving forward.”
Officials are also saying that a wolf hunt is not imminent; but merely being discussed as an option.
“Every state however, has swiftly followed de-listing of the Gray Wolf with a public hunt, including our Minnesota and Wisconsin neighbors,” Robarge said. “Signing this petition will ensure protection against such a hunt until at least 2014. During that time, scientific data can be gathered from Minnesota and Wisconsin in an attempt to answer the concerns of those advocating for a wolf hunt. Did acts of depredation on livestock and domestic animals actually decrease substantially in areas where a hunt took place? Did instances of wolves visiting urban areas decrease? Is there a scientific correlation between the two that Michigan officials can actually use in the decision making process? Right now that type of data is just not available.”
The event in Iron River will serve as an opportunity for residents of the area to learn a bit more about the wolves we share this landscape with.
The evening will begin with a presentation by guest speaker and U.P. resident Nancy Warren, of the Timber Wolf Alliance.
“My passion began about 20 years ago when I learned that we had a handful of wolves in the U.P.” says Warren.
“I attended workshops, conferences and lectures and discovered that for wolves to survive there needs to be human tolerance. One way to improve human tolerance is by gaining a better understanding of wolf behavior through education.”
Following the presentation, registered Michigan voters can sign the petition.