The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is updating the state’s wolf management plan and is looking to the public for input, including people to participate in a new wolf advisory committee.
“It’s critical to have all voices about wolves at the table,” said Dan Stark, the DNR’s wolf management specialist. “With the public’s input, we can effectively evaluate how the wolf management plan is working and identify what may need to be improved.”
The state’s current wolf management plan, drafted in 2001, provides the framework that guides the state’s decisions about wolf regulations, population monitoring, management, damage control, education, research and other issues.
Most of the state’s efforts remain on hold, however, with the wolf currently protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. Several efforts are underway to delist wolves from federal protections, however, which would hand wolf management back to the states.
In addition to the advisory committee, the DNR will gather public input through a public opinion survey, accepting public comments and holding open house meetings at local DNR offices as well as working with tribal officials.
In addition to public input the DNR is forming a technical advisory committee comprised of state and tribal wildlife experts.
To serve on the public wolf advisory committee, apply before Dec. 20. The DNR will select members in January, and convene the committee’s first meeting in February.
Stark said the goal of the wolf management plan is to ensure the long-term survival of wolves in Minnesota while addressing wolf-human conflicts. Meetings will begin in spring 2020 and continue through the summer. The plan is expected to be ready for final public review and comment next October and finalized in December 2020.
Go to www.dnr.state.mn.us/mammals/wolves/mgmt for more information or to apply to be on the committee.