Letter to The Editor

Below is a letter that we submitted to the Minnesota Star Tribune today. The current Game and Fish bill with an immediate wolf hunt will go into law May 3, 2012 unless Governor Dayton acts with a line item vetoes for the wolf hunt. Please continue to spread the word and contact the Governor's office directly to say 'No' to a wolf hunt."

Historic Opportunity for Governor Dayton and MN Gray Wolf Tourism
Many Minnesotans do not want us to hunt and trap our gray wolves that were just removed from the endangered species list and whose numbers are stable despite high rates of wolf deaths by starvation and human causes such as cars and poaching. MN could benefit tremendously from wolf tourism such as in Yellowstone, which in 2006, was estimated at $35 million per year. We have more public land than any other state besides Alaska and we could grow our tourism economy to an international scale. This is possible if we are associated with having wild wolves that benefit our wilderness habitat and for people to hear or even see on a rare occasion. We are the only lower 48 state with a our original wolf population that re-established the much smaller populations in Wisconsin and Michigan.
MN wolf hunting and trapping is advocated for with misleading information that fuels its support. For instance, our farmers are encouraged to believe that hunting wolves will help wolf depredations on livestock and that there are large numbers of wolf on livestock attacks. However, in 2011 the total number of livestock complaints in MN verified by the USDA as wolf kills was 88 complaints with 91 cattle killed by wolves. MN has approximately 165,000 cattle in wolf territory. Wolf hunting may make depredations worse by weakening MN's small wolf packs of less than 5 wolves per pack. Now that MN gray wolves are no longer on the endangered species list, farmers and residents can kill wolves when their pets or livestock are threatened.
The Game and Fish bill with an immediate wolf hunting and trapping season will go into law by Wednesday May 3, 2012 unless Governor Mark Dayton acts to line item veto out the wolf hunt. The bill now has increased hunting and fishing license fees and a portion of those fees will provide payments to farmers who experience livestock losses. Even with a line item veto of the wolf hunting fees, the other game hunting and fishing fees and their applications will not change.
Governor Dayton could make history; stop the wolf hunt, and lead our state's economy toward a wolf and wilderness friendly tourism economy that is sustainable for our children's future.

Reference Link: Yellowstone Wolf Worth $35 Million A Year