In 1998, the Minnesota DNR organized a 32-member roundtable group composed of people fromall sides of the wolf issue. The process was arduous, but the roundtable group eventuallyproduced recommendations for wolf management in Minnesota. These recommendations wereused by the Minnesota DNR as it formed its wolf management plan. One feature of the plan theDNR eventually adopted was a five-yearmoratorium on hunting and trapping of wolvesfollowing their removal from the federal endangered species list, in order that sufficient time beallowed for scientists to gather accurate data on Minnesota's wolf population before taking anyaction that might again jeopardize the species we invested so much to preserve. The five-yeardelay was later written into law (Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 97B.645, subdivision9, Author: Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen), and included the provision that after that time, thecommissioner may prescribe open seasons and restrictions for taking gray wolves but mustprovide opportunity for public comment. The plan also required that the Dept. of NaturalResources convene a group, including all those participating in the original roundtable, on anannual basis to review and comment on management plan implementation, and recommendedthat research conducted during the five-year study period include standardized training of thedata collectors and objective verification of their data and more continuous tracking andverification of information from more radio-collared control groups. In July 2011, the Minnesota legislature removed the 5-year moratorium on wolf hunting andtrapping fromMinnesota Statutes 2010, section 97B.645, subdivision 9. On December 28, 2011 the final rule to remove Endangered Species Act protection for graywolves in the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment (DPS) was published inthe
The rule took effect 30 days after publication in the
-January 27, 2012.On April 23, 2012, in an e-mail to Kathy Don Carlos, Dennis Simon of the DNR wrote, "I havecome to the conclusion that we owe it to our
primary clients, hunters and trappers,
and tolivestock producers as secondary clients to do what we can to establish a legitimate harvestopportunity now that the wolf is under our management authority."Minnesota's natural resources are NOT the the private property of a minority of citizens. Thisstate is NOT the exclusive playground of those who wish to slaughter wildlife for fun. In 1998,the wolf roundtable negotiated a thoughtful approach to wolf management in good faith, trustingthat their efforts would not be ignored after a wolf management plan was created by the DNRwith provisions adopted by the Minnesota legislature. Yet, the agreed upon research wasn't done,the moratorium was removed from law, the roundtable was not reconvened, the cursory on-lineopportunity for public comment revealed that 78% of respondents opposed the hunt, yet the huntwent forward. The DNR has acknowledged in the referenced communication that its first priorityis to cater to the interests of hunters and trappers, rather than pursue its mission to manageMinnesota's resources to assure long-term ecological sustainability.