New Wolf Bill Introduced to MN Senate

The bill (see HERE) seeks to amend the MN DNR’s Wolf Management Plan and calls for temporary suspension of hunting in order for the DNR to provide several documents and metrics on the current wolf population.

See the 2012 Wolf Season Report HERE

2013 Wolf Population Survey HERE

2011 Wolf Damage Control Data HERE

mn verified wolf damageSome of the info/documents asked for in the bill are already available, though the DNR may not be the “provider” to the public of the info. they do reference the findings in management plans, etc. For example, per the bill: “(e) The commissioner of natural resources must produce a map of wolf and human conflicts, including wolf predation on livestock”. See “MN 2011 Verified Wolf Complaints by Type” [the map is on about page 6].

The bill also includes:

  • Limitations on baiting
    [but seemingly only in relation to tribal lands]
  • Respect for tribal leadership’s desired bans for wolf hunting on federally recognized (open) tribal land
  • An annual census of wolf population
    [Previous surveys were conducted at 10-year intervals from 1978 – 1998 and at approximately 5-year intervals thereafter; arguments posed over the past few years have been that annual surveys are 1. cost-prohibitive, 2. provide data that have been statistically too insignificant to be helpful in strategic management policy amendment, 3. invasive to the species]
  • Greater education and outreach on the species and conflict resolution, especially for areas where there is reported conflict so as to offer alternatives to shooting/killing
    [Note: See existing DNR outreach, “Can I Shoot a Wolf to Protect Livestock or a Pet?” HERE]
  • Annual review of management plan by a wide audience (consisting of both public and professional input)

Per Senate notes: “Senators Hawj, Eaton and Marty introduced–S.F. No. 2256: A bill for an act relating to game and fish; modifying wolf management provisions; providing limits on wolf baiting; providing for temporary suspension of wolf hunt; amending Minnesota Statutes 2012, sections 97B.646; 97B.647, subdivision 3, by adding a subdivision. Referred to the Committee on Environment and Energy.”

Other relevant documents to consider:

  • USDA APHIS publications “wolf damage management [or control]”
  • Informational document on the USDA research and the program for surveys/publications on wildlife management
  • Various supporting visual documents from the DNR used in public outreach, meetings, etc., like in large carnivore specialist Dan Stark’s presentation Wolf Management, Population Status, and Recovery in Minnesota from March 2012: “Indices to Wolf-Livestock Depredation in Minnesota” and graph “Wolves Captured and/or Removed in Minnesota” and chart “Seasonal Distribution of Wolf Depredations” [by year] and a pie chart “Verified Wolf Complaints by Type” [by year].
  • Wisconsin’s wolf management plan and ongoing surveys, etc. (WS works with the MN DNR).

photo by Don Gossett, International Wolf Center (http://www.wolf.org)