Ten Years After

April 22, 2022
Maureen Hackett

What a difference ten years has made at the Minnesota State Capitol for the wolf.

Yesterday, the Minnesota state senate made a decisive vote against a mandatory wolf hunt. Most would agree that to oppose a mandatory wolf hunt should be a no brainer. But politics of the wolf is so bad, that getting this decisive vote, with both parties on board against a mandatory wolf hunt is a leap forward for the wolf and for the legislature in Minnesota. The vote was 37 nays to 28 yeas. The current senate is Republican majority, but nearly equally divided. Compared to many other votes taken yesterday, this vote was decisive and not close, with Republicans also saying no to a Mandatory Wolf hunt.

Howling For Wolves started 10 years ago this spring.  We let the public know about the wolf hunting bill before it passed into law through the Environment bill. We made sure people knew about the wolf hunt during the lead up to it all summer 2012, as we tried to stop it. Then we protested the horrific wolf hunts. We were the advocates as the press told a slanted story about the wolf hunts. It is tragic, but obviously vital that the courts finally stopped the slaughter. There had been a democratic process accomplished long before in 1998. THis was to have a 5 year moratorium before aa wolf hunt was considered and was to have "full" public comment and scientific research. This was ignored and overturned in the rush to have a wolf hunt. THe Minnesota DNR did not even accomplish a baseline survey of the wolves of Minnesota after 35 years of protections before a public wolf slaughter. And all of the MN media just ate it up with no questions about what should have been and what could happen to our beloved wild wolves.

So much has happened since then. With all of the ups and downs for wolves and their packs, Wolf supporters can smile and feel proud about yesterday’s vote in the Minnesota State Senate. This was a glimmer of hope that a political body can help protect the wolf. This was a glimmer of hope that the legislature is hearing their constituents and voting accordingly. It demonstrated that it actually has an effect when we take actions and reach out to our representatives and senators whether it be in person or electronically. It takes an accumulation of actions to be heard and for all the actions taken over the years, it appears they hear us and are listening. It all started 10 years ago with so many in person actions and lots and lots of communications with our legislators, in person rallies and attempts to inform the public at major events.

Howling For Wolves is heard at the state capitol. Stay proud and stay engaged. They hear us.

(Watch the 40-minute debate on the Senate Environment Finance bill here.  It should start at the right time, 00:30:54. The vote concludes at 01:06:57. https://youtu.be/22dZUw-lXo4?t=1854)