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    Montage: 11 NMU Students, Grads Ticked-Off: Tragic Timber Wolf Hunt, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected. Don't Hate Gray Wolves. There is no reason to kill wolves that are worthless for food/fur

    Greg Peterson

    by Greg Peterson

    An all-day petition drive with numerous NMU student organizations is planned for March 20, 2013.

    Only registered Michigan voters can sign the petitions provided by Keep Michigan Wolves Protected that seek a Nov. 2014 referendum.

    "This is hatred" of wolves, said Adam Robarge, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Upper Peninsula coord.

    "I see zero reasons" for a wolf hunt, he said.

    Wolves "just got off the endangered species list so to hunt them seems premature," said NMU EarthKeepers II Student Team member Adam Magnuson, 21, of Marquette.

    Many "people seem to think that the wolf is some big bad animal but there has never been a recorded attack on a human in Michigan history," said Magnuson, an NMU environmental studies and sustainability major. Research shows "wolves aren't so scary."

    "We need to be careful to consider the ecological and biological" impacts of a wolf hunt, said NMU EarthKeepers II Student Team member Katelin Bingner, 20.

    U.P. wolves are "just getting re-established firmly now," said the NMU sophomore biology major from Spring Arbor, MI.

    The interfaith NMU EarthKeepers II "need to defend what Native Americans believe," Magnuson said.

    Catholic "St. Francis of Assisi befriended a wolf," said Tom Merkel, NMU Catholic Campus Ministry peer minister at St. Michael Parish.

    Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is "the green pope" and "is very pro-environment" saying to "protect God's Creation," Merkel said.

    "The wolf is one of their (Anishinaabe) religious symbols and we have to protect that," Merkel said.

    Hannah Vallier and Amanda Weinert are NASA co-presidents and citizens of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

    "I am wolf clan (ma'iingan-doodem) -- we believe that we're related (to wolves)," Vallier said.

    Wolves "are important to tribal people" and Anishinaabe heritage/culture, said Weinert, 21.

    Weinert explained a traditional story from elders that "the first Anishinaabe man was lonely and asked for a companion."

    "Gitchi Manitou (the Great Spirit) gave him a wolf or ma'iingan," Weinert said. "They went on a journey to name all the plants and animals."

    After the journey "they were told they could no longer be companions" but will stay connected and live parallel lives, said Weinert of Garden, MI.

    Weinert said today Native Americans and wolves continue to "live parallel lives."

    "The connections between native people and wolves" include "we've both been relocated" slaughtered and misunderstood, said Weinert, an NMU senior. The wolf hunt is "sad and very distressing."

    Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed a law making the wolf a game animal.

    A Feb. 2013 lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar by the Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of Animals and Their Environment, Help Our Wolves Live, and Born Free USA.

    Michigan has 687 and 782 wolves