The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will hold three online meetings in advance of crafting a new state wolf management plan under the assumption that, at some point, federal protections of the big canines may be removed.
The DNR wants to hear from the public about how many wolves, and where, should be allowed to roam Minnesota. A recent statewide public opinion survey conducted for DNR found overwhelming support for wolves in the state.
The DNR is seeking more input as it updates the state’s current 20-year-old wolf management plan. In addition to taking public comments, the DNR has brought together a wolf advisory committee made up of multiple interests in the wolf issue.
The virtual open houses, held from 6-8 p.m., include informational presentations from the DNR and will allow real-time public input. The meetings will each focus on a particular geographic area, and all are welcome to join the open houses focusing on their area of the state or region of interest..
The first meeting will focus on the northwest region and is set for Sept. 29. The second is set for Oct. 6 and will focus on non-wolf areas of the state, including the Twin Cities and southern counties. The third meeting is set for Oct. 8 to focus on Northeastern Minnesota..
The open houses will be accessible by computer, smartphone or telephone (audio only for those joining by telephone). Registration for the event is required and will open Sept. 21 at dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/wolves/wolf-plan.html.
Anyone can also share their input by commenting on the DNR website from Sep. 29 through Nov. 1. Once a draft plan is ready, anticipated later this year, people will be able to comment on the draft plan itself.
Wolves remain federally protected in Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin under a federal court order, although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is in the process of submitting a plan to remove federal protections in the Great Lakes region. Announced in March, that proposal is supposed to be ready later this year.