Senate committee to take testimony on wolf-related resolution via videoconference

LANSING, Mich.—The Senate Natural Resources Committee will take testimony Wednesday on a resolution to be introduced by Sen. Tom Casperson calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to appeal a recent decision to return wolves to federal protection as endangered species.

The decision was made on Dec. 19, 2014 by Judge Howell of the U.S. District Court and has left Upper Peninsula residents again at the mercy of the aggressive predators, even though the wolf population in Michigan exceeds target numbers that indicate a recovered and healthy wolf population.

Upper Peninsula residents will be able to participate in the committee via videoconference from Gogebic Community College in Ironwood and City Hall in Manistique.

“Residents of the Upper Peninsula showed their strong support of state management of wolves in November when all counties in the 38th Senate District voted overwhelmingly to retain state laws that allowed Michigan to manage wolves,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “As we have seen the number of wolf attacks on livestock and dogs increase over the last year and hear more and more concerns raised about the number of wolves concentrated in the Upper Peninsula, it is imperative for this unreasonable decision by one judge to be overturned.”

Casperson’s resolution also voices support for federal legislation being readied for introduction by Great Lakes congressmen to remove wolves from being considered as endangered species so states can manage them.

“The committee hearing and videoconference opportunity will be a great way for senators in Lansing and lower Michigan residents who may not realize how wolves adversely impact how we live and work in the U.P. to hear from my fellow U.P. residents on this important issue,” Casperson said.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 28 at 12:30 p.m. EST in room 210 of the Farnum Building in Lansing, with simultaneous videoconferencing at Gogebic Community College, David G. Lindquist Student and Conference Center, Upper Level Conference Room, E-4946 Jackson Road in Ironwood at 11:30 a.m. CST and at City Hall, Council Room, 300 N. Maple in Manistique at 12:30 p.m. EST. Casperson asks those that plan to attend the Manistique location to RSVP to his office before the event at 517-373-7840  so you can be notified in case of technical difficulties.