The Department of Natural Resources announced today that the draft Michigan Wolf Management Plan is available for public review and comment. The comment period is 90 days and closes on Nov. 14, 2007.

The original Michigan wolf plan was finalized in 1997. Since that time, wolf population size and distribution have expanded, understanding of wolf biology has improved, and focus has shifted from biological recovery toward management. The DNR is recommending revisions to the plan to address these changes.

"We've worked closely with our stakeholders in developing a draft plan to present to the public," said DNR Director Rebecca A. Humphries. "The draft addresses wolf management in Michigan in terms of biological, social and regulatory relationships found in ecosystems."

The draft wolf management plan has been developed based on review of the best available scientific information and substantial input from stakeholder groups and the public. The plan reflects extensive review of scientific literature and consultation with wolf experts. It also reflects: 1) input received during a wolf-focused comment period and wolf-focused public meetings; 2) the results of an extensive public-attitude study conducted by Michigan State University; and 3) the recommendations of the Michigan Wolf Management Roundtable -- a 20-member committee convened by the DNR to represent the diverse array of wolf-related interests held by Michigan society.

The draft plan outlines four principal goals: 1) maintain a viable Michigan wolf population above a level that would warrant its classification as threatened or endangered; 2) maintain positive wolf-related interactions at socially acceptable levels; 3) minimize negative wolf-related interactions; and 4) conduct wolf management according to methods acceptable to Michigan society.

To help achieve these goals, the plan identifies strategies to address several issues. Some of these issues include: information and education, research, regulatory protection, wolf prey and habitat, diseases, human safety, depredation of domestic animals, public harvest, and wolf-dog hybrids.

The draft plan is available on the Michigan DNR Web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr. Requests for hard copies can be sent to: Michigan DNR Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 30444, Lansing, MI 48909.

Comments can be e-mailed to: wolf_comments@michigan.gov; or mailed to: Wolf Plan Comments, Attn: Endangered Species Coordinator, Michigan DNR Wildlife Division, P.O. Box 30444, Lansing, MI 48909.

Following the public comment period, DNR wildlife staff will finalize the plan and present to DNR Director Rebecca Humphries for approval. After that time, the approved plan will be available on the DNR Web site or through written request. Following the public comment period, the plan is expected to be completed by Spring 2008.