With the first season almost over and the death toll at 124 wolves in Minnesota alone. The wolf activist groups “Northwoods Wolf Alliance” and “Howling for Wolves” continue to rally against the hunt all over the state of Minnesota, as well as continue keeping the pressure on lawmakers who pushed through the extremely controversial and unsupported bill that opened the state to wolf hunting.
Since being removed from the federal endangered species list most states with wolves have started “management” plans, that include hunting and trapping. In Minnesota despite the fact that 79% of respondents to a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) pole do not support a wolf hunt in the state, the DNR continued pushing the hunt that began on November 3. The DNR claims that they will use this first “harvest” of wolves to research the current population and use the money generated from the hunt to further ensure the wolfs overall survival. (authors note: This seems incredibly counter intuitive, especially since the wolf has been just fine for the last 40 years with out studies or “management”)
Not only do most Minnesotans disagree with a wolf hunt but the wolf is a central figure in the Anishinaabeg creation story. This hunt is an act of continued genocide against Native peoples and is a violation of tribal and spiritual laws. All reservations in Minnesota have become wolf sanctuaries despite pressure from the governor. Any person caught with a wolf on tribal lands can and will be prosecuted.
Minnesota is the only state in the lower 48 that has always had wolves in our north eastern sub-boreal forests. In 2008 a population study was conducted and there was found to be about 3,000 wolves living through out the northern half of the state. This year the DNR is allowing 400 to be shot or trapped. There are two seasons, an early shooting season and a late shooting and trapping season that extends until January 31, again with a “target harvest” of 200 wolves per-season. This hunt is an embarrassment to the state of Minnesota and the majority of its residents. We are heartbroken,grieving and we will fight them.
(authors note: for more detailed information stay tuned, a full length article will appear in the next EF!J)