March 12–LANSING — For the second time, opponents of a hunt of gray wolves in the Upper Peninsula have gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
The Keep Michigan Wolves Protected group plans to turn the signatures in to the secretary of state on Thursday to repeal a law that allowed the hunt last year, resulting in the killing of 23 wolves in November and December.
The petition brings up the possibility that there will be three wolf questions on the November ballot.
The anti-wolf hunt group gathered enough signatures in 2012 to halt the wolf hunt approved by the Michigan Legislature. That petition would have put a stop to the wolf hunt, but the Legislature turned around and passed another law to bypass the petition.
The second petition drive by the wolf group would repeal the law passed by Legislature.
The Department of Natural Resources issued 1,200 licenses for the hunt of up to 43 gray wolves in three targeted areas of the UP.
The wolf population had dwindled to six when it was put on the endangered species list in 1973. It grew to 658 last year.
A second group has emerged, however, to launch a petition drive to maintain the wolf hunt. They have not turned in signatures yet, but if they do, it would set up a confusing battle on the November ballot.