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Minnesota DNR seeks public input on wolf management plan

MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking public input on the state’s wolf management plan, which is in the process of being updated.

Over the next several weeks, wildlife officials want to hear from Minnesotans about how they see wolves in the state and what the future of management should look like. The public comment period will last through early August. 

“Wolf conservation is a high priority for the DNR, and we expect this updated plan to help ensure Minnesota’s wolf population remains healthy,” said Dr. Kelly Straka, wildlife section manager, in a statement. 

The updated plan currently includes information about Minnesota’s wolf population and the history of wolves in the state. Additionally, it lays out the changing public attitudes towards wolves, defines their legal status, and highlights tribal perspectives.

Under the plan, supporting a resilient wolf population means minimizing conflicts between people and wolves. The draft plan, DNR officials say, outlines a framework for future decision-making about whether to again hold a wolf hunting or trapping season. 

Currently, it is illegal to hunt or trap wolves in Minnesota. However, from 2012 to 2014, wolves were legally hunted until a change in federal law again granted wolves legal protection. 

According to the most recent population estimates, there are roughly 2,500 wolves in Minnesota. The number of wolves in the state has remained relatively consistent over the last several years.

Wolves have a unique history in Minnesota. The Arrowhead region once sheltered the last remaining wild wolves in the lower 48 states. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act and careful management practices, wolves have been able to repopulate in areas of the Upper Midwest. 

To comment on the wolf management plan or learn more about the process, click here. 

Source: CBS Minnesota

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