From: Reyna Crow, Northwoods Wolf Alliance, Duluth MN.
RE: OAH Docket No. 60-2002-30171
My name is Reyna Crow and I am one of the co-founders of the Northwoods Wolf Alliance. We are a Duluth based organization with an immediate goal of ending the hunt on ma’iingan, the wolf, and with an overall focus on Anishinaabeg environmental ethics.
I want very much to comment on the proposed status changes to many individual species in Minnesota. However, the way the DNR handled the wolf subsequent to de-listing as a federal endangered species necessitates comment on the process by which the DNR `manages’ wildlife first.
I want to cite an email from Dennis Simon to Kathy DonCarlos, both of the DNR, in which Mr. Simon states “... we owe it to our primary clients, hunters and trappers, and to livestock producers as secondary clients, to do what we can to establish a legitimate harvest opportunity now that the wolf is under our management authority.”
The primary and secondary clients of the state DNR are, of course, the citizens of Minnesota. As a primary client of the DNR I, along with the 316 other members of the Northwoods Wolf Alliance, oppose the proposed change in status of the grey wolf from `special concern’ to `none’. We furthermore oppose without qualification the hunting, trapping and snaring of wolves in Minnesota.
We are not satisfied that the DNR has applied due diligence in meeting its duty to survey wolf numbers and distribution in Minnesota as should have been done even before merely considering a hunt. It would seem that about a third of the very roughly estimated population was just wiped out, mostly for `fun’. The DNR has no idea how this hunt has effected the future of this species. We do not want narrow interests to continue to dictate the fate of ma’iingan or any other species in Minnesota.
In fact, the complete disregard shown by the DNR for a management plan that was exhaustively negotiated by a cross section of the public the agency is supposed to represent, including sport and other hunters as well as livestock owners, demonstrates that we cannot expect either science or the public interest to inform DNR policy.
For this reason, we also oppose any reduction in the protection afforded to not only the grey wolf, but even a single other species in this state until such time as whatever changes are necessary and sufficient to recapture the agency from the narrow special interests it is clearly representing have taken place. Only when good faith in the form of adequate science and regard for the public interest on the part of the DNR has returned to the `management’ process should lessening protection for any species be considered.