The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Seeks Public Input on New Wolf Plan

Image by Steve Felberg from Pixabay

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is hosting three live virtual open houses this fall to solicit feedback on the future of the state’s wolf management plan. Starting on September 29th, each meeting will target a different area of the state, beginning with the northwest.

While location-based participation is preferred, people from all over are invited to join. However, you must register before the sessions begin. Registration opens on September 21st and submitting questions in advanced is encouraged.

The open houses come on the heels of a wolf public attitudes survey that was conducted this summer by the DNR and the University of Minnesota. The survey showed overwhelming support for having wolves on the landscape, but there is a small minority who see them in a less favorable light, mainly ranchers and hunters.

With wolves set to lose federal endangered species protections by the end of this year, the state of Minnesota is in the process of crafting an updated version of their wolf management plan, which they hope to unveil sometime early next year. Wolves mean so many things to different people, so getting feedback from all stakeholders is key to having a plan that works for as many groups as possible.

“Discussions about wolves bring out opinions from a broad range of interests,” said Dan Stark, DNR wolf management specialist, on the DNR website. “These public meetings are part of a broader process to update the plan and give people an opportunity to share their views.”

The second and third meetings will be held on October 6th and 8th and will focus on Central and southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, and Northeastern Minnesota, respectively.

In addition to getting feedback from the public, the DNR is working with an advisory committee and a technical committee to help develop the new plan. Both groups include a diverse array of representatives ranging from advocacy groups to trapping associations.

These sessions will be another chance for the department to gauge interest and see where the public stands on wolves. More importantly, this will be a chance for the public to engage, in real time, with the folks who craft wolf policy in the state.

“We look forward to having a dialogue about wolves in Minnesota,” Stark said. “What people think about where and how many wolves we have, conflicts regarding livestock depredation, the interrelationship of wolf and prey species, and future wolf management options are all important topics.”

If you can’t make it, there will also be a public comment period from September 29th – November 1st.

For many wolf lovers, it is hoped that the increased opportunities for advocates and tribes to engage will mean a better outcome for wolves. The previous iteration leaned heavily on input from ranchers and hunters, which meant killing wolves for sport was the preferred management tool. Let’s hope this time they get it right.

2 thoughts on “The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Seeks Public Input on New Wolf Plan

  1. Thank you for the notice. I am in no way shape or form for anyone killing wolves or coyotes. If government agencies determine (backed by science and explained to the public) somehow that there are too many wolves, coyotes, cougars, bobcat etc. then I believe the agency “professionals” need to be the ones who should be required to do the extermination though the thought of even that disturbs me. I don’t understand how sapiens can over-populate and do the damage to the earth that we do yet the few wolves that have been repopulated should be hunted by the hunters for sport using dogs. There is no rational reason to hunt our predators. How are cows more important to the natural environment than our predators? It’s time we as a society stand up to oppose the oppression of our predators especially when done for SPORT or to protect our cows.

  2. The ‘rational reason’ to kill off predators is because they have to eat to live & prey animals are only allowed to be eaten by hominid animals, e.g. sport hunted deer, elk, or cows (live-stocked.) If a hominid eats, it’s sustenance, when wildlife eats, it’s called depredation. Environmental science has already backed facts that increasing human population is depleting earth’s reserves, e.g. fresh water (incl. the two largest western underground aquifers) & subsequently agricultural supplies. And govt. agencies therefore determined that wildlife predator species have to be kept from over-populating. Go figure? But Govt. agencies also derive income from hunters & trappers who pay a license fee to the state to kill wildlife & whenever something appears to be inexplicable, you just have to look to the dollar for the answer.

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