WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF ANOTHER MINNESOTA WOLF HUNT?
Chances of wolf hunt in MN if delisting should take place....the way I see it:
With the Trump move to delist wolves and Representatives Peterson (DFL) and Stauber (GOP) recent attempt for wolf management to be turned over to MN state management, this is the way I see it.
First of all, politics is the twilight zone. Anything can happen, change or dissipate. Anything we do for the well being of the environment is essentially a "stay of execution" as those who see our wildlife and special places as commodities to exploit will never stop trying to grab more or over turn what we've succeeded in.
Here is why I believe we may be in a good place to prevent a wolf hunt in Minnesota's future: Last session, the House passed a provision in the DNR Ominbus bill to do away with "recreational and trophy hunting" of wolves. This bill passed the House of Rep's. It did not get a vote in the Republican state Senate but made it to conference committee where it was deadlocked in a 7 to 7 vote when the session abruptly ended and all pending bills died.
This is the first time that any attempt at elimination of wolf hunting in MN has occurred. It is also noteworthy that a northern legislator, John Persell (DFL-Bemidji), chair of the House Committee on Environment & Policy, had a hearing on the bill and voted with us and still stands behind this bill that passed a floor vote in the House. Though we could not do the same in the Republican controlled Senate, we came close and were close to getting one Republican Senator in conference committee to flip to our side when the session ended as this bill was being debated by members of both the House and Senate in conference committee. Also, Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan ( a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe and member of the wolf clan) spoke out against wolf hunting and Governor Walz publicly stated he would sign a "no wolf hunt bill!" In Persell's committee hearing, DNR staff (Dan Stark) stated that they have no plans to have a hunt. What makes this note worthy is that this is the first time since delisting in 2012 that the MNDNR has not had a plan written and reading to proceed with a hunt immediately upon delisting.
With the House and Governor with us and and only the Senate against us, our positioning is good but we need to re-elect John Persell in 2020 and get back control of the Senate to Dem's. Keeping Persell in there is vital! His opponent lost by only a handful of votes. I cannot state how important Persell's reelection is!
This has been a long and difficult fight - this fight has been going on for 8 years now and and thankfully wolf advocates have never let up! We have done the politics and have moved ahead, slowly but steadily! I hate to say what our chances are in making no hunt as the law of the land but we are looking good. Stay the course now more than ever! We are making progress.