ST. PAUL, MINN. – A bill that would temporarily suspend the state’s wolf hunt and set up an advisory task force to study the wolf management plan passed out of the Energy and Environment Committee by an 8-6 vote on Tuesday. Sen. Foung Hawj (DFL- St. Paul) is the chief author of the bill and argues that the state needs to take a thoughtful approach to the wolf hunt in Minnesota.
“I am thankful that committee members saw the wisdom in this legislation and voted to pass it. This is a sensitive topic for many of my constituents, as well as other Minnesotans, and I believe taking more time to study the state’s wolf management plan and the impact of the hunt on wolf numbers is important,” said Sen. Hawj
Sen. Hawj’s bill would require the DNR to conduct a yearly wolf census and establish strategies for reducing wolf/human conflicts. In addition to the creation of a task force, the bill would require the DNR to close federally recognized tribal lands to hunting and trapping of wolves if requested by tribal leadership. The bill also suspends the wolf hunt in order to the study the outcomes of the hunt, and specifies requirements the DNR must meet before the hunt can continue.
“It was my hope that this legislation will help ease people’s minds. The wolf population should be properly studied every year, and I feel that this legislation offers a healthy compromise between wolf hunting enthusiasts and opponents,” said Sen. Hawj.
The bill will head to the State and Local Government Committee sometime next week.