Anishinaabek Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party
The Anishinaabek Caucus of Michigan delivered written testimony to the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Resolution-15 which urges “the Natural Resources Commission to authorize…wolf hunting and trapping…” The Caucus advised Committee Chair, Senator McBroom, that this resolution “erases the voices, wishes, and sovereignty of Michigan’s Anishinaabek community.” The Tribes were not consulted.
Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources is in the process of updating Michigan’s wolf management plan given that the wolf population has stabilized, deer herds are healthy, and livestock losses have been minimal. The DNR recommends tribal input on wolf management and hence wolf hunting. Yet, voices of the Michigan Tribes and its citizens have been consistently ignored.
In 2014, Michigan voters soundly rejected two laws authorizing a wolf hunting and trapping season. Yet, a trophy hunting lobby group pushed through their own law, the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act of 2014, to circumvent the will of the voters and of the Tribes. The Act created the 7-person Natural Resource Commission, which approves DNR rules relating to wildlife management. The NRC also has the authority to designate wolves as a games species and to authorize a wolf hunting and trapping season. In the intervening years there has not been a designated wolf hunting and trapping season, because wolves have been on the federal endangered species list.
Wolves were removed from the endangered species list, effective January 2021. Removal was the final barrier to sport hunting wolves in Michigan. Resolution 15 serves as a nod from the Michigan Legislature to the NRC, to put things in motion for a wolf hunt. The NRC may move with haste, as there is pending legislation to restore federal protections for wolves.
The Anishinaabek Caucus advised the Committee, that the NRC should adhere to the recommendations presented in the upcoming DNR wolf management plan. Given the speed with which hunting and trapping of ma’lingen is sought, the scientific underpinnings to which the NRC claims to value are clearly not the basis for this resolution.
The Anishinaabek Caucus of MDP is a political caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party advocating for the issues and concerns of the 12 federally recognized Tribes in Michigan.