In a lame-duck session two months ago, Michigan governor Rick Snyder and his cronies in the legislature passed a bill designating the gray wolf as a game animal. This follows the delisting of wolves as an endangered species only a year ago. Prior to their delisting, wolves enjoyed protection for nearly fifty years after being hunted almost to extinction and they have just begun to recover in that time. Still, they now occupy only 5% of their former range.
The new law will effectively create a hunting season for wolves. Given the fact that there are likely fewer than 700 wolves in the state (all of them in the upper peninsula), this is a bad idea.
A number of opposition groups, including Native American tribes in the UP oppose the new law.
Because no one eats wolves and because there are provisions in place that allow farmers and homeowners to protect livestock and pets from wolves the only motive behind the law is to please trophy hunters.
But you can do something to stop it.
An organization known as Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is gathering signatures to include a referendum on the 2014 state ballot that will allow voters to choose whether the law will be enacted. In other words, instead of allowing the governor and a few trophy hunters to decide whether a still-recovering, iconic Michigan species can be hunted again, the people of the state will be able to choose. 225,000 signatures are required to get the referendum on the ballot. You can help gather signatures by emailing the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.