State Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan)
A recent letter submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has been met with some criticism from state lawmakers.
The letter implored the FWS to maintain protection of Michigan’s gray wolves.
“Many of the folks who are opposing state management of wolves want the feds to keep them on the endangered species list, not really manage them. And so it’s a bit of a play on the situation,” state Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) said.
He said that people opposed to state management are motivated by a desire to keep the gray wolf on the endangered species list rather than effective management purposes.
“The feds continue to say these should be delisted. So that’s their practical management is to determine should these be held in federal protection or should they be returned to state management,” McBroom said. “And so folks who say we want the feds to do this really don’t want the feds to do it. They just want them kept on the list.”
FWS has declared the gray wolf recovered and is proposing to turn management of the species over to the states. The attorney general’s webpage stated that in the letter Nessel enjoined the FWS not to base their justification on the state’s successful reclamation of the wolf.
“Simply put, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has not adequately accounted for why this species should be removed from the endangered list,” said Nessel in an issued press release on the attorney general’s webpage. “This flawed proposal is the first step toward allowing gray wolves to be hunted to near extinction once again.”
McBroom said the FWS hasn’t demonstrated the capability to effectually manage the situation and the state should be the entity overseeing the wolf population.
“There’s variability within regions,” he said. “There is the local needs to be addressed and the federal government is not equipped with either the personnel or the funding to manage wolves to the specific needs of their population in a scientific manner. What has the federal government truly done when it comes to managing wolves since they put them on the endangered species list?”
State Rep. Greg Markkanen (R-Hancock) feels Nessel is not acting in the best interest of the state’s residents.
“This is just another example of our AG meddling without considering how she is hurting the citizens of Michigan, and the U.P. (upper peninsula) in particular,” said Markkanen in a press release on McBroom’s official webpage. “She is jeopardizing the heat for our homes, jobs and energy, and now our wildlife management. Perhaps she should focus on her duties of defending the state and people.”
McBroom also questioned Nessel’s actions in the same press release asking why a state leader would not want the state to manage their own wildlife issues.
“Our professionals within the DNR (Michigan Department of Natural Resources) are ready for the work and our residents deserve to have the services they pay for available to help them with these issues,” he said in the press release.