A blog to keep current on MPIRG'S fight for social and environmental justice.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wolves: From endangered to in danger

The Minnesota DNR and the House Committee on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Policy and Financing are discussing opening up a possible wolf hunting season. If enacted, this bill would let the Minnesota DNR sell licenses for people to kill wolves in Minnesota. The grey wolf was just taken off the endangered species list in Minnesota this past winter. According to the DNR, approximately 3,000 wolves inhabit Minnesota. If passed, the DNR would seek to drive Minnesota’s wolf population to 1,600.

Stunning natural ecosystems and diverse wildlife are some of Minnesota’s best assets. The presence of wolves is a triumph as industrialization and human activities pushed wolves to the brink of extinction. It is critical that we preserve the population we have in Minnesota instead of hunting them back onto the endangered species list.

The DNR has cited population management as the reason to curb the gray wolf in Minnesota. They also want to encourage our already burgeoning deer population. The DNR makes money from selling deer hunting licenses and will profit from selling wolf hunting licenses. None of Minnesota’s neighbors, including Wisconsin, allow wolf hunting. Wolves in Minnesota are in further danger of becoming victim to greed as the hunting and agricultural industries have been consistently lobbying for the right to kill wolves. Wolves are a perceived threat to these industries’ profits and that combined with cultural prejudices against the grey wolf means we might be forced to live in a Minnesota once again without North America’s top predator roaming through our woods.

Written by Sydney Jordan

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