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Northwoods Wolf Alliance OPPOSES SF 2256, says it will permanently hinder wolf advocacy.

Northwoods Wolf Alliance strongly opposes SF 2256; says the bill is misleading, undermines wolf advocacy and may hinder tribal wolf protection efforts.

March 12, 2014 at 9:33am
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3.12.14

Contact: Reyna Crow Northwoods Wolf Alliance reynacrow@gmail.com 218.269.2661 (text best)

Northwoods Wolf Alliance strongly opposes SF 2256; says the bill is misleading, undermines wolf advocacy and may hinder tribal wolf protection efforts.

Duluth, MN. The Northwoods Wolf Alliance, an all volunteer group of over 1100 wolf advocates based in northern Minnesota, strongly opposes SF 2256, which was approved by the Minnesota Senate Committee on Environment and Energy yesterday.

The Northwoods Wolf Alliance urges members of the Senate Committee on State and Local Government to seek broader input, in particular from tribal members and other northern Minnesotans, before advancing a bill that Northwoods Wolf Alliance founder Reyna Crow says will likely led to a permanent hunt on wolves in Minnesota.

“We now have something in common with wolf hunters”, says Crow: “Both wolf lovers and wolf hunters feel trampled on by people from the cities who don’t care about northern Minnesotans, but have the resources to disproportionately and somewhat unfairly impact policy that directly affects us. We can’t compete with the monied interests on this wolf issue, but we are northern Minnesotans, we live where wolves are and we deserve a say in this policy, I plead with the legislature not to ignore our interests up north, despite our lack of lawyers, PR professionals and lobbyists”.

According to Crow, the publicity the bill has received is misleading in that it presents this bill as a wolf protection bill, when it’s anything but. Giving control of wolf management policy to the Commissioner of Agriculture, is exactly what people mean when they say `letting the fox guard the hen house’, says Crow, and rewards both the DNR and big agriculture for not upholding their end of the roundtable management plan.

Wolf advocates negotiated in good faith and honored the roundtable agreement, but the DNR, in an admitted intent to cater to the special interests who’ve captured the agency, backed out of it’s obligation to the public to have the 5 year moratorium on wolf hunting that the roundtable management plan required, saying that it `owed’ it’s `primary and secondary clients’, `hunters and trappers’ and the `livestock producers’ a hunt immediately after federal de—listing.

Members of the Northwoods Wolf Alliance are also angry about the bill being presented as if it were an expansion of tribal sovereignty. “Our membership is truly insulted by this claim, the clause about tribal land merely reflects the current situation, not what our tribal membership or others working on wolf protection in Indian Country tell me they want to see.” says Crow.

Crow’s group is supporting an initiative led by long time Anishinaabeg wolf advocate Bob Shimek, who calls for policy which upholds the right of “… tribes to have jurisdiction over wolf management within the exterior boundaries of the reservations” (emphasis added). That’s significantly different than the policy advocated for by the lobby group Howling for Wolves.

“Maybe city people have the privilege to fight big agriculture interests over recreational killing of wolves for the next 100 years, or until they’ve been rendered mere relics again in Minnesota, but northern Minnesotans, including tribal members, do not”, says Crow, adding “We need policy that is in the best interests of Minnesotans, including tribes, and wolves, which is both economically and scientifically sound. This bill is a complicated step backwards in all regards”.

Shimek and Crow will discuss wolf policy in Minnesota at a Bemidji rally on March 18th. For details contact NorthwoodsWolfAlliance@gmail.com

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