house resolution no.233

Reps. Prestin and Markkanen offered the following resolution:

A resolution to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow the state of Michigan to engage in the scientific management of the species Canis Lupus.

Whereas, Gray wolves in Michigan were classified as an endangered species by the federal government in the creation of the first endangered species list in 1967. Since their first listing, gray wolves have been federally protected under various endangered species acts, including the Endangered Species Act of 1973; and

Whereas, In response to the gray wolf’s endangered status, recovery plans have been developed to ensure the survival of viable gray wolf populations in the conterminous United States. The 1978 and 1992 recovery plans for gray wolves in the Great Lakes area called for establishing a second population of gray wolves, in addition to the historically established gray wolf populations in Minnesota and on Isle Royale in Michigan. For removal from the federal endangered species list, the recovery plans required a viable population of 100 or 200 gray wolves to be maintained for at least five consecutive years; and

Whereas, Federal protection of the gray wolf is no longer necessary. Gray wolves have made a remarkable recovery, and the Michigan wolf population has far exceeded the recovery plan requirements. As of 2020, there are estimated to be more than 695 gray wolves in the Upper Peninsula, excluding Isle Royale. Michigan’s population has exceeded 200 animals for more than two decades and has remained consistent, between 600 and 700 gray wolves, since 2011. Delisting is long overdue as Michigan’s wolf population has met all federal recovery goals for delisting, both in terms of number of wolves and the stability of those numbers; and

Whereas, Going forward, Michigan is well prepared to manage gray wolves in the best interest of its residents. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has developed a sound management plan that is reviewed periodically by the Michigan Wolf Management Advisory Council. The plan was developed and updated with input by a wide range of stakeholder interests, including some 20 agencies and organizations that represented the diversity of Michigan interests in wolves. Using this plan and advice from the advisory council, the DNR continues to maintain a viable gray wolf population in Michigan, while also allowing for more flexibility when conflicts between gray wolves and other species arise; and

Whereas, The gray wolf is an apex predator with no natural enemies. Without management, its population could reach numbers that will be detrimental to other species, such as whitetail deer. Delisting the gray wolf from the federal list of endangered and threatened wildlife is necessary so that state management may be initiated; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to allow the state of Michigan to engage in the scientific management of the species Canis Lupus; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the members of the Michigan congressional delegation.