As a hunting season in 2012 approaches, here are some questions to consider and discuss with your fellow Minnesotans:
1. If the hunting season allows for baiting and trapping, what prevents moose or fischers or other endangered or declining species in MN from being trapped and killed?
2. In certain regions, farmers are allowed to kill wolves at any time of the year under various conditions (such as if a wolf poses an immediate threat or is stalking cattle), so why might the DNR think a hunting season is also necessary?
3. Do Minnesotans want their state to be known for wildlife or farming? (Especially up north, the wolf’s natural habitat) Is there a way to have both?
4. If a farmer chooses to clear woodland up north and then raise cattle in an area known to have wildlife predators that will attack those animals, whose interest should be protected? The wildlife preservationist (the wolf) or the farmer (the cattle)?
5. Do Minnesotans want “up north” to = trees and natural preserves? Or large, cleared fields? Or farms? Or something else?
6. Are Minnesotans more concerned about creating habitat up north for wolves or cattle? Recreation or industry? People or wildlife? Etc.
7. Do Minnesotans value cleared fields for grazing cows or monoculture crops (like soybeans, corn)?
Or preserved woodlands and prairies for wildlife?
8. Depending on how you might answer the above questions, what’s the biggest “threat” in this discussion (in the desired way of Minnesota life) — the wolf or cows?
Spark a healthy debate! When it comes to “management” there is rarely an easy answer.
(Feel free to email mn nature to add questions to consider)