A Michigan senator apologized Thursday for putting false information about the sighting of wolves outside a day care center in his resolution urging Congress to strip gray wolves of endangered species protections.
Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, acknowledged on the Senate floor that his 2011 resolution included fiction. "I was mistaken, I am accountable, and I am sorry," Casperson said. "Words matter. Accuracy matters. Especially here, with a topic that is so emotional and is so important to so many, especially those whose way of life is being changed in my district."
According to MLive.com, an Ironwood woman said she saw one wolf on her lawn in 2010 while she was caring for children inside. Lori Holm said she screamed and it fled.
The resolution reported a different scenario. "Wolves appeared multiple times in the backyard of a daycare center shortly after the children were allowed outside to play," it said. "Federal agents disposed of three wolves in that backyard because of the potential danger to children." No children were in the backyard that day, and three wolves were shot seven months later less than a mile away, MLive.com said.
Casperson said there remains a sound basis for hunting wolves.- "Contrary to those that oppose the hunt, wolves can and will attack humans," he said, citing an attack on a teenage camper in Minnesota this year. "A decision here of whether or not we use sound science to manage wolves, as with all decisions this body makes, should not be based on emotions, agendas or innuendo, but rather on facts," he said.
Casperson said he still supports the thrust of the 2011 resolution sent to Congress, despite the factual errors it contained. "Years ago, when I worked for my family's trucking company, we didn't scrap a log truck because it had a flat tire," Casperson said. "We fixed the tire and kept trucking. For the same reason, I will not disown the whole resolution about wolves because of an error in the text. I will correct the error and continue to promote safety in our communities."