Have wolves been protected long enough?

A lawsuit filed Wednesday seeks to drop wolves from the endangered species list and return management to state authorities, who could allow a hunt in five years. Today’s Question: Have wolves been protected long enough?

  • dan iverson

    What does it matter. We discuss, we rally, we write letters and call our congressman, whether it be wolves, education, health, energy or the environment.

    It is only another way to placate the masses, make us believe we have a stake in the game. We don’t. Ultimately, if the powerful entities in this country don’t really want something, it won’t happen. This is a country ruled by law and the law is ruled by wealth.

    Finally to my point.

    MPR once was more than a wallflower in the news world. It stood for the people, a better world.

    Why are you silent on so many issues?

    There is a difference between unbiased reporting and the selling of news.

    Why are silent on the most important decision facing Minnesota in a 100 years, the ominous prospect of open pit sulfide mining in Minnesota.

  • Shane

    No, I don’t think wolves have been protected long enough. There was a report on MPR not too long ago stating that the only ‘rebounding’ wolve population is in the Minnesota and Wisconsi region; not elsewhere in the US. And, from my understanding, they cannot take a species off of the endangered list in just one region.

    If there is a threat that you may lose livestock or pets to these wolevs then take the necessary precautions to deter this from happening. Don’t say they’ve been protected long enough just for vinidcation to get revenge.

  • Steve D

    No, I believe we need to continue protecting the Timber Wolf, but this has a price tag. We need to continue research into what is a stable population? How the wolf and the coyote are interacting and the outcomes of this range management issue in relationship to cattle, sheep, and pets. We need to be better at compensating farmers and ranchers for any livestock killed by any predators. We need to bring back a bounty on coyotes as they are expanding and their kills are often attributed to the Timber Wolf. This will not be an easy task for the DNR but they must be supported by our legislature and governor too.

  • Bob Mueller

    No, I don’t believe the Wolves have been protected long enough. They are still having a tough time trying to survive. The other NBA teams are justed pounding on them. I think they need to be protected until they at least have a .500 record. ( :

  • James

    Yes, They are a predator that has reached a critical population. I have a pack that dens up 1/4 mile from my house. They are showing less and less fear towards my neighbors and me. I do believe we need to coexist, however their numbers do need to be kept in check. They are marvelous, efficient killing machines with a beautiful family bond (I wish we humans could emulate their family unit).

    I would love to have a Wolf rug on my wall.


  • Wade

    Yes, it’s time for a hunting season.

    Must be a lot of city folks posting today. Come up to northern MN and take a look. I’ve seen and had encounters with numerous wolves while in the woods. I love seeing them and do not want them gone. However I would love the opportunity to harvest one as well. It’s time for them to be managed just like other game species.

  • Jim G

    No. We must protect wolves forever. Have we protected the natural world long enough? Should people protect other species that don’t live in this part of the world, such as elephants, mountain gorillas, and wild salmon? Yes, of course we need to protect these species. We need to get past our narrow regional bias and protect the natural world where it exists, FOREVER. We need to protect wolves FOREVER. We are not only protecting these species, but our own human species as well.

  • Becky

    People who want to harvest a wolf must surely have a reason to do so…what would it be? Meat, the fur,

    or just the fun of killing a wolf? Would it not be more fun to photograph this creature? Wolf populations will take care of themselves, with fertility rising and falling with availability of food supply. One of the many reasons I am proud of Minnesota is its progressive stance in protection of the wolf. We have wolves near our woods near Ely and value their presence. We have more than enough beaver and deer to provide for the small packs nearby. They are very wary of coming near us, with good reason. We take care of our pets so they don’t become a wolf snacks.

  • Michael

    I believe that this question misses the real point. The way I see it humans have been protected for too long. Look at the population. Additionally, we are the real predators and have most environmental impact of all the species. Time to cull back the herd.

    A major war, nuclear perhaps, would be a quick fix, but altogether too iffy in terms of getting out of control and leaving long lasting deleterious effects.

    Maybe a controlled plague? This has alot going for it, as we do have the technology. The primary problem with this is that it is messy and defiinitely not appealing from a media point of view.

    No, I propose a television combat reality show. Think about it, people chosen, could be made stars and chosen by their combat and photogenic capabilities. It has also been used in previous societies with alarming effectiveness. It would also assuage our bloodlust and allow the survivors to be real heroes, which I might add does alot for our tribal esteem. We, however, would have to find someone to kill.

    Wait a minute! We’re already doing that in the Middle East. Isn’t that typical, I come up with a great idea, and someone has already taken out a copyright. Man, life is sooo cruel.

  • judy


    People are killing wolves everyday and the MN DNR does nothing in this state as far as our wildlife goes. Kill hawks because they nested in the wrong area. Kill cougars because they have lost their habitat and are looking for food in areas now taken over by people, etc., etc, etc.

    Thank you

  • Brian

    Michael, I think the idea of a “controlled plague” might be of interest to the FBI.

    And who would be the recipients of this rolling pin of death? Let me guess … not you.

    I think that type of thinking is best left to our enemies.

  • Patrick from Anoka

    Wolves are a menace to many aspects of Minnesota’s life and economy. Just ask the people in Ely, who can’t let their dogs out for fear of becoming a wolfsnack.

    Would we tolerate other large predators threatening our pets…and even our children??

    Why should wolves be special?

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    I live in wolf country, and occasionally see these wild critters. They are amazing animals, masters of the northern forest. To look into the eyes of a wild wolf at close range (I have) is to get a glimpse of untamed wild, something that is slowly dying in America, as sprawl, development, and an constantly growing human population eats into our remaining wildlands.

    That being said, there is absolutely no reason to maintain gray wolves on the endangered species list in Minnesota. We have over 3000 wolves, more than the rest of the lower 48 states combined, and probably didn’t have a whole lot more in pre-settlement times.

    People should be able to protect their pets

    (ie: hunting dogs) and livestock. I certainly do not advocate the wanton killing of wolves, but

    believe that the protections offered by the endangered species act should be reserved for those species that are truly at risk.

  • Steve in Saint Paul

    I find wolves fascinating and have worked for their restoration professionally and privately for nearly 40 years.

    The time has come to remove wolves from federal protection, returning management to the state of Minnesota. Our wolf population is not endangered any more, and to “de-list” the wolf would be a great victory for the Endangered Species Act.

    The greatest threat to wolves now is adverse public opinion, and de-listing wolves might help their cause in two ways. First, it serves the cause of wolf restoration to give people who live near them a chance to limit depredations on pets and livestock. Wolves could be managed more flexibly and appropriately after delisting, and that would serve the long-range goal of assuring wolves of a place in our ecosystems.

    Second, wolves have been changing behavior under federal protection, becoming bolder. This could hurt wolf restoration by creating circumstances that could lead to a highly public attack by wolves on a child. We need to teach wolves that humans are dangerous. If they continue to engage with people without being harmed, they’ll become more of a threat. And that would threaten all the progress we’ve made in wolf restoration.

    Minnesota has more people living peacefully with more wolves than in any developed society. We should be very proud of that. Returning wolf management to the state would help protect a future for wolves in the state.

  • http://minnesota.publicradio.org/publicinsightjournalism/ Text sent to MPR

    Comment texted to MPR:

    Wolves: I do not believe we should remove wolves from the protected list. Why is it we humans are so interested in killing off animals that have been here long before us? Wildlife in general should be protected. Let nature take its course using the survival of the fittest principle. It is a shame we continue to hunt and kill beautiful animals merely for the sport of it using the excuse that there are too many of them or they are killing off our livestock etc. -Ron Woods, Eden Prairie

  • Elaine

    Wolves and loons are the ancient ancestors of the land of northern Minnesota.

    The wolf population would find its own population balance if people didn’t stop interfering.

    The wolf population increased over the past decade because of an increase in the deer population. The deer population increased because of some milder winters, related to our changing climate, as well as logging practices that focus on the growth of aspen.

    The DNR then increased the number of deer that could be taken during hunting season. This was concurrent with some winter seasons that have not been so favorable to the deer population.

    As a result, the deer population is down, while the wolf population is up. This will rebalance itself over the next 5 years, at which time the state, if the wolf is delisted, could allow a wolf hunt.

    The DNR is remiss by allowing moose hunting in the state when it is known that the moose population is plummeting. The problem is that the agency receives a lot of funding from hunting licenses.

    Our agencies do not have some superior intelligence that gives them authority to control wildlife populations.

    The wolf needs to be protected from our own foolishness.

    By the same token, loons also need to be protected from lead that comes from hunting bullets, and mercury and sulfates from encroaching mining expansion in northeast Minnesota.

  • Curt

    I know that they’re not a very good basketball team, but I don’t think we should be killing them. Perhaps if the management would hire better players?

  • Francine Marie Tolf

    We should continue to protect wolves.

  • DNA

    Keep them protected at least though 2012…after that I’m assuming our global resonant empathy/telepathy will have the common sense to live in harmony, compassion, wisdom and peace.

  • http://www.wildlifesciencecenter.org peggy Callahan

    The Endangered Species Act was established to restore endangered animals and plants to a viable, self-sustaining population. Gray wolves in MN have long-since achieved a recovered population, so it is not only appropriate to restore state management for the wolf, but it is essential for the survival of the ESA. MN/WI/MI all have a long history of cooperative management of wolves with the Federal government., and are staffed with extremely experienced, smart folks who have pragmatic, conservation approaches to dealing with this highly controversial species. I am the director of a non-profit with no state or federal support, yet this is how I solidly land for the future of the wolf and the future of the ESA.


    Peggy Callahan

    Executive Director

    Wildlife Science Center

    5463 Weast Broadway

    Columbus, MN 55025

  • Rob

    I think MN is capable of managing thier own wolf populations. However, not all states operate with as much intelligence. Putting all wolf populations around the country in the states hands is a bad idea. Idaho had a wolf hunt this last year. The limit was 225 wolves. If every state made similar decisions regarding wolf populations, (which don’t adhere to political boundaries), the work that we have done to restore the species will suffer a huge setback. We need national guidelines for wolves.

  • Jen

    No. The deer to wolf ratio is at a healthy balance after many many years of the DNR trying to fix it. FINALLY at a balance. If the wolves are removed from the list, hunters and residents will drop the wolf populations, and we’ll have too many deer again. I would rather not ruin my car with a live deer running across the road. I don’t mind the wolves, and I live in their country. If a wolf, or many, kills a cow or livestock, the owner just needs to take pics, and report it. They will get money from the DNR. Keep the wolves protected. We’ve done enough damage in the last 150 years, and now that we have done something right, someone wants to reverse it? Ridiculous.

  • susan

    NO, I think we should continue what we do right now. It seems to work, but how about coyotes? I’ve seen them killed and left on the side of the road, that seems just as bad to me, right in Rosemount, pretty sad.

  • Linda

    Absolutely No. They need ongoing protection. Humans have nearly destroyed them because of ignorance and arrogance. Emphatically, they deserve our protection after all the harm we’ve caused.

  • Steven

    Don’t let’s get started on coyotes, which are in no way endangered and are in fact a pest in rural Minnesota.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rY43vO-LQU jasmine

    i think wolves should still be protected

  • Lindsey Lacher

    NO, because they are part of nature and if they were really a problem then nature would have its own way of getting rid of them. The endangered species act was made to help bring the wolf population back and to start hunting them would be going against the whole idea. Besides, they help bring down and control the overwhelming deer population.