REGIONAL—The Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments through Aug. 8 on a draft of Minnesota’s updated wolf management plan. The gray wolf is currently under federal …
REGIONAL—The Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments through Aug. 8 on a draft of Minnesota’s updated wolf management plan.
The gray wolf is currently under federal protection in Minnesota, so the state’s management plan does not call for a hunting or trapping season, which would violate those federal protections.
In the event the federal protections are lifted, the updated plan states that any wolf hunting or trapping would need to meet the state’s conservation objectives. “For example, possible objectives could include managing wolf-livestock conflicts, aiding ungulate population recovery, reducing wolf disease outbreaks, or providing regulated hunting and trapping opportunities,” states the report. “With proper harvest and population monitoring, the effects of hunting and trapping on a wolf population can be evaluated, informing adjustments to seasons to ensure wolf conservation goals are supported.”
The plan makes note of the diverse views of Minnesotans regarding wolves and how to manage them, although the agency stated that a large majority of Minnesotans appear to support maintaining a healthy and viable wolf population.
“Wolf conservation is a high priority for the DNR and we expect this updated plan to help ensure Minnesota’s wolf population remains healthy,” said Dr. Kelly Straka, wildlife section manager. “Thank you to those who have already contributed to the extensive public and tribal engagement that helped create this draft. We are now asking folks to review the draft and share their thoughts with us.”
The updated plan includes summary information about Minnesota’s wolf population and the history of wolves in the state. It details the diverse and changing public attitudes about wolves, the legal status of wolves, tribal perspectives on wolves, and ways to support a healthy and resilient wolf population, while minimizing conflicts between humans and wolves. The draft plan also sets out a framework for future decision-making about whether to hold a wolf hunting or trapping season.
To learn more about wolves in Minnesota and review and comment on the draft plan, visit the DNR wolf page (mndnr.gov/Wolves). Click on the Comment Now link to view the draft plan.
An informational webinar about the plan will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. Registration is required and free, and participants will have an opportunity to pre-register to ask questions and comment during the webinar. The DNR expects to finalize the wolf management plan in the early fall.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here