Delisting gray wolves divides MI conservationists

Dec 1, 2015

There’s a debate in the conservation community over the future of the gray wolf in Michigan. Some scientists say the populations have sufficiently recovered in the Western Great Lakes. They’re proposing the wolves be taken off the endangered species list in those states. But other conservationists are saying that move would be a mistake and put the wolves’ recovery at risk. We talk to scientists on either side of the issue: Associate Professor in Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU Gary Roloff and John Vucetich, Associate Professor of Forest Resources at Michigan Tech University.


The question of whether gray wolves should be taken off the endangered species list is a controversial one. It’s a debate that reached a fever pitch when the Michigan Department of Natural Resources proposed a limited wolf hunt in 2012 in parts of Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. But the back and forth isn’t limited to hunters and animal rights advocates. It’s also creating a divide in the conservation community.

Some wildlife scientists say the wolf population is sufficiently recovered in the Western Great Lakes. But others say that taking them off the endangered species list puts the species’ recovery at risk.

Current State talks with Gary Roloff, an associate professor in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, who supports delisting the wolves, and Michigan Tech associate professor John Vucetich, who opposes delisting.