LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ed McBroom and Rep. Greg Markkanen on Thursday questioned the actions of Attorney General Dana Nessel after the state’s attorney called on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not pursue granting Michigan the authority to manage wolves in the state.
The lawmakers noted Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has long advocated managing the wolf population at the state level, citing a large task force that was created over ten years ago to craft a plan by the consensus of varied stakeholders. The plan was adopted and implemented for a short time until federal courts took back the authority on a technicality.
“Why would any state leader desire to take away our state’s sovereignty to manage our wildlife issues?” asked McBroom, R-Vulcan. “Our professionals within the DNR are ready for the work and our residents deserve to have the services they pay for available to help them with these issues.”
Currently, the DNR lacks the authority to work with landowners and communities dealing with wolf interactions, while farmers and residents are not permitted to protect their cattle or pets with necessary lethal force.
State management, the legislators contend, would allow these issues to be handled directly by biologists, law enforcement and the state Natural Resources Commission.
“This is just another example of our AG meddling without considering how she is hurting the citizens of Michigan, and the U.P. in particular,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “She is jeopardizing the heat for our homes, jobs and energy, and now our wildlife management. Perhaps she should focus on her duties of defending the state and people.”
Should the federal government remove the wolves from protected status, state laws and management would allow for the management of the over 600 wolves in the Upper Peninsula and in many other states that have requested similar delisting.
“It really is a surprise that AG Nessel would rather trust the Trump administration with managing our wolves than the Whitmer administration in our own state,” McBroom said.