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Trophy hunting is not wolf management

Watch the townhall at: https://www.facebook.com/andrea.pierce.50/videos/4118272938196282

The Anishinaabek Caucus of Michigan invited Aaron Payment, Chairperson of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians to host a panel of experts to discuss the reality of wolves in Michigan weighed against the pressure to hunt them for sport. Payment framed the discussion with a talk on indigenous understanding and knowledge of living in balance.

Beatrice Menase Kwe Jackson, Tsimphean/Nicola Anishinawbe from Yakima Washington and Grandmother of the Three Fires Midewewin Lodge, opened the Townhall with a song honoring wolves

John A. Vucetich, PhD, from the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science at the Michigan Technological University, brought insight with a few points clarifying how hunting poses as a solution for a problem that does not exist. There is not an abundance of wolves. The percentage of livestock loss to wolves is a fractional slice of one-percent. The deer population is not adversely affected by wolves. Wolves are not a safety hazard. Wolves are not hunted for sustenance.

Molly Tamulevich, Michigan Director, and Jill Fritz, Senior Wildlife Protection Director, from the Humane Society of the United States, outlined the history of wolf hunting legislation that was at odds with voter ballot initiatives, including a former State Senator fabricating a story. It is also important to acknowledge that sport hunters do not have more authority than animal welfare advocates.

Thomas Gilpin, an environmental advocate, illustrated the watershed event that triggered the push for trophy hunting within some state legislatures. In Michigan, when the previous White House administration delisted wolves as an endangered species, effective January 2021, a resolution was passed in the Senate Natural Resource Committee in support of a wolf hunt.

Nancy Warren, Executive Director of the National Wolf Watcher Coalition, provided several ways to advocate on behalf of wolves. She showed how participating in the Natural Resource Commission meetings and contacting our State legislators was important. We must have the will of the voters and the rights of the Tribes honored in Michigan.

Additionally, Pearl Waaseyaa Biber and Moses Biber, Tribal citizens of Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, gave youth testimony. They spoke to commitment for family structure in all animal families, which echoed the science and policy points of the panel. Pearl Waaseyaa and Moses were clear that hunting for sustenance is different than killing for sport.

Anishinaabek Caucus of MDP is a political caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party advocating for the issues and concerns of the 12 Tribes in Michigan.

© 2021 - Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Ken Bosma / CC BY