Press Release: MN Court of Appeals Hears Lawsuit Challenging Wolf Hunt


Contact: Maureen Hackett, MD 612-250-5915

Minnesota Court of Appeals to Hear Lawsuit Challenging DNR’s Failure
to Obtain Public Comment for Wolf Hunting and Trapping Season

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (April 3, 2013) – Today, the Minnesota Court of Appeals will hear a lawsuit that challenges the DNR’s failure to obtain public comment for the inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season.

“What will it take for the DNR, a public agency, to listen to the public?,” said Dr. Maureen Hackett, founder of Howling For Wolves. “The law required an opportunity for public comment and the DNR did not provide that.”

In the informal online DNR survey conducted, 79% of DNR survey respondents answered “No” when asked if they support hunting and trapping of wolves in Minnesota. While the DNR ignored this input as non-scientific and not a referendum on wolf hunting, a recently conducted independent survey by Lake Research Partners shows that the majority of Minnesotans see no need for a wolf hunt.

Two thirds (66%) of respondents believe that there is no need for a wolf hunt if Minnesotans already have the legal authority to kill a wolf if it threatens people, livestock, and property. Over half (57%) of respondents living in northern Minnesota counties agree. Overall, just 25% of voters disagree, saying that a wolf hunt is still necessary. In northern Minnesota counties, only 34% of voters share that viewpoint. The same majority, two thirds, oppose trapping and snaring of wolves.

“It’s unfortunate that after millions of taxpayer dollars spent over nearly 40 years to recover the wolf population, the DNR thought it was appropriate to rush a wolf hunt without providing an opportunity for public comment that is required by law and directed in their own wolf management plan”, said Dr. Hackett.

A public comment is a formal process where a record of responses of public opinions and information is made for use in DNR rulemaking. In the last decade, the DNR has issued all hunting rules via an expedited emergency rulemaking process that does not allow any public comment.

For more information about the recent statewide poll results, see WolfPoll.pdf

Download the release in PDF.

April 3, 2013