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The DOJ delivers the Comey memos to Congress. Also on our rundown: More evidence that rent prices are out of reach in many markets; Wisconsin counties brace for sulfide mining; and the Earth Day focus this weekend in North Dakota is on recycling.

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As Wolf Hunt Enters Final Days, Controversy Continues

PHOTO: After a controversial bill passed in the Michigan Legislature, 2013 marks the first year wolves have been hunted in the upper peninsula. Whether that hunt will continue could be up to voters in Nov. 2014. Photo courtesy Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.
PHOTO: After a controversial bill passed in the Michigan Legislature, 2013 marks the first year wolves have been hunted in the upper peninsula. Whether that hunt will continue could be up to voters in Nov. 2014. Photo courtesy Keep Michigan Wolves Protected.
December 26, 2013

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan's first-ever wolf hunt is entering its final days, but dueling referendum petition drives over the issue are sure to keep the controversy going into the new year. Michigan voters will likely face competing ballot questions next November - one challenging the state law that allows the wolf hunt, and the other reaffirming it.

Jill Fritz, director, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign, is among those seeking to repeal the legislation, which she called far too broad.

"As the bill finally was passed, it would allow almost any animal to be added to the list of game species, so animals such as the sandhill crane could be added, here in Michigan, to the list of game species to be hunted," she said.

The hunt began Nov. 15 and runs through Dec. 31. Wildlife officials set a target of 43 wolves but say only 20 were killed in the first month. Michigan's wolf population is estimated at roughly 650, up from just three in 1989.

Supporters of the hunt have said the gray wolf population presents a threat to livestock and pets, but Fritz maintained that the threat is mainly a myth, and that those backing the hunt have used lies to stir up support.

"Legislators and even a DNR official admitted to making false statements and exaggerations, and telling tall tales and using fear-mongering" Fritz said.

An Upper Peninsula man whose farm accounted for more cattle killed and injured by wolves than all others combined during the period state officials reviewed has been charged with animal cruelty for failing to care for state-provided "guard donkeys" to protect his herd.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI