Press Release: Minnesota Court of Appeals Dismisses Petition Challenging Wolf Hunting and Trapping


Contact: Maureen Hackett, MD 612-250-5915

Minnesota Court of Appeals Dismisses Petition Challenging Wolf Hunting and Trapping

ST. PAUL, MN (May 28, 2013) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals today dismissed the petition challenging wolf hunting and trapping on the basis of standing, not on the basis of the merits of the case. The Court found that the petitioners (Center for Biological Diversity, Howling For Wolves) did not adequately persuade the Court that sufficient standing was held to challenge the rulemaking process implemented by the MN DNR for the inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season.

“It’s hard to put into words our disappointment and sense of injustice over this decision.” said Dr. Hackett, founder of Howling For Wolves. “Minnesotans have a legitimate concern about the care and management of our wolves and all our natural resources. The public’s input should not be disregarded just because it’s convenient for the DNR."

Since 1995, the MN DNR has authorized 200 of the 202 hunting rules using the expedited emergency rulemaking process that bypasses any opportunities for public input. Hackett states, "When the public is cut out of the process for public agency decisions and rulemaking, then bad stuff can happen, like the agency becomes hostage to special interests with special demands."  

The requirement that the DNR have a formal public comment was the law prior to the start of the inaugural 2012 wolf hunting season. But the DNR only offered an online survey where the actual rule which would have described to the public the methods allowed to kill wolves, was not published. Nearly 80% of respondents to the informal DNR online survey opposed the wolf hunt. But this response was ignored by the DNR.

A recent Lake Research Partners poll found that 79% of respondents agreed that the wolf is a valuable asset to Minnesota and one that should be protected for future generations. The majority (66%) also opposed trapping and snaring wolves for sport.

Howling For Wolves is analyzing the Court’s decision and considering its options. Despite today’s legal news, Howling For Wolves has plans and opportunities going forward to forge a peaceful existence for the wolf in Minnesota.

Howling For Wolves was created to be a voice for wild wolves and those who are concerned with their survival. We aim to educate the public about our wolf population and the advocacy that is necessary to keep wild wolves in a self-sustaining existence. For more information and resources:

Maureen Hackett, M.D., the founder of Howling For Wolves, is a physician, a triple board certified forensic psychiatrist, and a former United State Air Force officer. In 2003, Hackett was instrumental in the passage of Minnesota law providing for tobacco-free state hospital grounds.


May 28, 2013