Contact: Maureen Hackett, (612) 250-5915
SAINT PAUL, MN – Howling For Wolves President and Founder Maureen Hackett issued the following statement after a bipartisan conference committee of Minnesota senators and representatives failed to include provisions banning wolf hunting and trapping in a must-pass budget bill.
“The Minnesota state legislature’s Environment, Climate and Energy conference committee excluded our legislation to prohibit wolf hunting and trapping from the final bill. The legislature has squandered a historic opportunity to protect one of our most cherished species, but we won’t let our profound disappointment stop our push to educate Minnesota’s elevated officials about the need to ensure the survival of our state’s wolves.
“The House overwhelmingly passed a bill removing wolf hunting from state law back in April, but it hit a roadblock in the Senate because of the slim, one-seat Democratic majority there. Passing bills there requires all Democrats to vote in favor of a given piece of legislation, and Democratic leaders decided not to put our bill up for a vote because they wrongly worried that protecting wolves — which is overwhelmingly popular with Minnesota voters — would be too controversial for their caucus.
“The Department of Natural Resources opposed our bill and they definitely had a seat at the table with the lawmakers who ultimately decided to also exclude our legislation from the final conference committee bill. It’s fair to ask why an agency charged with protecting our natural resources is so committed to leaving the door open for wolves to be killed for recreation, but that’s exactly what the DNR has done.
“The bipartisan House vote last month showed which lawmakers were willing to step up to protect our state’s wolves, and we are heartened to have so many allies in our fight to ban recreational wolf hunting and trapping. We and our supporters also made enough noise at the capitol that the DNR now knows exactly how much opposition they’ll face if they propose a wolf hunt.
“There is no denying that this is a setback, but it has only strengthened our resolve to continue fighting to ensure that the wild wolf survives long into the future.”