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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

An Omnibus Bill in Sheep's Clothing

In 1974, Gray Wolves were added to the Endangered Species List in Minnesota after the population had been hunted and trapped to near extinction in the state. They were upgraded to a position on the threatened species list four years later where they stayed until this past January. Under this status, our wolves were protected from hunters, trappers, and human harassment. Under the new Game and Fish Omnibus Bill in the Minnesota House and Senate, there will once gain be a wolf hunting and trapping season in Minnesota.

Wolves are a vital part of Minnesota’s northern ecosystem and natural heritage. As a top predator, wolves help control populations of prey animals, such as deer, which has over populated much of Minnesota. Wolves also improve the health and wellbeing of overall prey populations as they predominantly hunt old, sick, and malformed individuals.

Wolves are an economic concern as well in Minnesota. Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding areas have benefitted greatly as tourism surrounding the wolves has boomed with the wolf population.  Northern Minnesota’s pristine nature also attracts thousands of visitors annually, which in turn increases revenue for our state.

According to David Mech of the University of Minnesota, tax payers annually pay approximately $86 to $198 dollars a year per wolf depending on the location of the wolf.  This means that we have invested between $3268 to $7524 per individual wolf since the gray wolf has been on the Endangered Species List (Wildlife Society Bulletin).  The cost of a tag to kill one wolf will be $26.

To take a stance against trapping and hunting wolves in Minnesota, please call Governor Dayton to voice your opposition at (651) 201-3400.

Written by Sydney Jordan

No comments:

Post a Comment