Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Governor Dayton: The Public Doesn't Want A Wolf Hunt - TAKE ACTION NOW TO STOP THE HUNT

TAKE ACTION NOW TO STOP THE HUNT

Go to THIS LINK and sign your name to the following letter to Governor Mark Dayton and  sound out your voice to stop Wolf Hunting and Trapping next year. The wolves are depending upon your support!

And pass it on to your friends. People, this is our chance to stop the insanity!
Thank you!
Governor Mark Dayton,
The 2012 MN Wolf Hunting and Trapping season killed 413 wolves and another 298 wolves were killed by farmers and property owners because they were perceived to be a threat to livestock and domestic animals. A total of 711 wolves, one in every four, were knowingly killed last year. This doesn’t account for additional wolf deaths due to disease, poaching, and car collisions.
The MN DNR did not obtain any baseline population data before the start of the hunt and forever denied the public and decision makers this crucial information, without which it may take years before we know the real impacts of the hunt. This hunt was rushed by the DNR to cater to their primary clients, hunters and trappers, even though the public is against a wolf hunt. 80% of DNR survey respondents made it clear they do not want a wolf hunting and trapping season in Minnesota.
As apex predators, wolves keep our deer and other wildlife populations in balance so our north woods sustain a diverse ecology that attracts tourism to our state, including hunting and fishing. Tourism from wildlife viewing is a sustainable $531 million industry in Minnesota supporting nearly 13,000 jobs. A recreational wolf hunt threatens our north woods ecosystem, state tourism revenue, and the long term survival of our wolf population.
It’s time for common sense to prevail. The public doesn’t want a wolf hunt. We already have programs in place to manage problem wolves. We ask you to make good on a broken promise to the public by supporting the reinstatement of the five-year waiting period on wolf hunting and trapping following delisting. This waiting period was in Minnesota law for ten years until it was stripped away behind locked doors without any public input in the summer special session of 2011. We need this five-year waiting period to assess the increased number of wolves allowed to be killed by state law, to assess public attitudes, and to assess the health of our wolf population. Please tell the legislature and your DNR Commissioner that we need to put the brakes on the wolf hunt, it’s not in the interest of our state.
[my comment]
Sincerely,
[first_name] [last_name]
[email]
[phone]
[zip code]

Help Us Collect More Minnesota Signatures 
We need your help to collect more signatures. Please download the documents listed below to collect signatures of support from neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers. Please return to this page to submit the signatures online or email signature pages to respond@howlingforwolves.org.
Click here to download our printable letter (PDF)
Click here to download our sheet to collect signatures (PDF)



One of Minnesota’s Vital Natural Resources

The gray wolf or canis lupus, also called the timber wolf is considered a pure wolf as distinct from wolf-coyote hybrids or canis latrans.  Gray wolves once roamed the United States from coast to coast and from Canada to Mexico.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, wolves were intensively trapped and shot and eradicated from all of the lower 48 states except in Minnesota where a sustainable but once threatened population still exists today. The last actual count of wolves in MN was in the winter of 2007-2008, which occurred at a time when the moose population was twice what it is today. The estimated wolf population in 2008 was 2921 and the average pack size was 4.9 wolves per pack. Listen to a gray wolf howling.

Gray wolves in Minnesota are considered part of the contiguous group the Great Lakes wolf population, ranging in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.  Minnesota's wolves were the only sustainable population at the time that they were listed as threatened and put on the ESA in 1974 with the goal of enhancing the Minnesota population.  Michigan and Wisconsin wolves were considered endangered and the Minnesota wolves are credited with providing the genetic diversity that brought back those populations, though at much lower numbers.  The problem with actually surveying for numbers of gray wolves is that surveying is in part dependent on using snow tracking for wolf paw prints. The separation of these two species is difficult if not impossible.

Download our Minnesota Gray Wolves eBooklet (PDF)

Wolves are known to keep wilderness habitat healthy for the forest ecosystem.  The wolf is the keystone species because they cull out weakened prey species and maintain the deer and elk populations that forage on the understory vegetation of the forest. Along rivers and streams, ungulates such as deer and elk do not graze as long due to the presence of wolves.  This "ecology of fear" improves the health of the water systems in the forests and meadows.

Studies in Yellowstone National Park have demonstrated just how valuable a healthy wolf population is to having young trees to grow to middle age. Wolves were absent from Yellowstone National Park since 1927 when the last wolf was killed by bounty hunting.  After wolves were re-introduced in 1995 (with much public controversy) the Yellowstone river was brought back to a healthier state. The river bank has less erosion and supports more wildlife. More vegetation supports more beaver that have now damned up more streams and parts of the river. This results in cooler river temperatures and healthier fish. The increased vegetation also provides for a healthier bird and small animal habitat.