Bill introduced to remove wolf hunting from Minnesota state law
February 28, 2023
(St. Paul, Minn.) – Today a bill removing wolf hunting and trapping from Minnesota statute was introduced in the Minnesota State Senate with bipartisan co-authors. Senate File 2062 is chief authored by Senator Mary Kunesh and co-authored by Senators Hawj, Abler, Marty, and Dibble. It was referred to the Senate Environment, Climate, and Legacy Committee.
The House companion bill, House File 2144, was introduced last week and is chief authored by Representative Peter Fischer and co-authored by Representatives Becker-Finn, Jordan, and Hornstein.
Current Minnesota law states: (bold added)
Sec. 19. , Minnesota Statutes 2022, section 97B.645, subdivision 9,
There shall be no open season for wolves until after the wolf is delisted under the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973. After that time, the commissioner may prescribe open seasons and restrictions for taking wolves but must provide opportunity for public comment.
A ban on wolf hunting in Minnesota passed the full House of Representatives in April 2019.
Dr. Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling For Wolves, a Minnesota-based wolf advocacy organization said in response:
“Wolf killing destroys wolf packs and kills additional wolves outside of the hunts. And with legal wolf killing comes more illegal wolf killing that persists. There is no need to kill wolves in a public hunting and trapping season. As apex predators, they have social and biological systems to control their own pack behavior and numbers. We need to leave wolves undisturbed to function as social packs.
“Fragmented wolf packs can create problems for livestock producers. This works against nonlethal prevention methods. Constantly killing wolves makes it difficult to have a settled population that learns to avoid places that use prevention methods. Even though there is talk of an ‘abundance’ of wolves, Minnesota’s wolf packs’ average size has decreased steadily and is now just over three wolves per pack.
“Because wolves are a keystone species, they are vital for biodiverse habitats. They affect landscapes from vegetation growth to water health and they maintain balance in the wild food chain.
“Howling For Wolves works to ensure the survival of the wolf and is adamant in our opposition to wolf hunting and trapping. We oppose the use of snares to trap wildlife.”
Howling For Wolves educates the public about the wild wolf to foster tolerance and to ensure the wolf’s long-term survival. Howling For Wolves opposes wolf hunting and trapping and all wildlife snaring. We advocate for nonlethal prevention methods that reduce wolf-livestock conflicts and support current federal protections for the wolf. http://www.HowlingForWolves.org.