Of wolves, deer, wildflowers and maples

Capital News Service
LANSING — Grey wolves are good for wildflowers like the nodding trillium and the Canada mayflower in the Great Lakes region. They’re also good for young red maples and sugar maples. That’s because white-tailed deer are bad for both wildflowers and maple saplings. And wolves are bad for deer. With the resurgence of wolves in the region, smart deer are learning to keep away from areas with many of the predators, meaning that wildflowers and young maples there have a better chance of survival, according to a recent study by scientists from the University of Notre Dame and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR).

Dawn of the Great Lakes Wolf Patrol

Editors note: This is the second of a two-part story about Rod Coronado, a convicted eco-terrorist now working to protect wolves in the Great Lakes region. By HOLLY DRANKHAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — One of the Great Lakes Wolf Patrol’s first actions after it was established in 2013 was photographing a wolf killed in Michigan and posting the pictures on its website to inspire others to take up the cause. The group has since established chapters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Founder Rod Coronado of Grand Rapids also organized a patrol in Montana to oppose hunting wolves as they leave the protection of Yellowstone National Park. In each location, the group sticks to public lands and roads, and avoids infringing on hunters under the guidelines of hunter harassment laws, Coronado said.

Convicted eco-terrorist pursues legal protection of Great Lakes wolves

Editor’s note: This is the first of a two-part story about the evolution of an animal activist now working in the Great Lakes region. By HOLLY DRANKHAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — In the past three decades, Rod Coronado says he’s gone from an eco-terrorist on the FBI’s most wanted list to a law-abiding advocate for the protection of gray wolves in the Great Lakes region. Now living in Grand Rapids, Coronado’s past includes destroying whaling vessels in Iceland, torching a Michigan State University research lab and demonstrating how to assemble bombs at a public rally. His extreme activism began at age 19 when he joined the Sea Shepard Conservation Society, an international marine wildlife conservation group. As part of that group, Coronado helped sabotage a whaling station in Reykjavik, Iceland, destroying computers, generators and refrigerators and sinking two whaling vessels.

Congress may take up state management of gray wolves

Capital News Service
LANSING — The late 2014 return of the gray wolf to endangered status in the Great Lakes area may be short-lived if a bipartisan bill passes Congress. The bill, sponsored by Republican Wisconsin Rep. Reid Ribble, would remove federal protection from the species in four states: Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Still in draft stages, the bill would turn over management of the gray wolf to those state governments. The species has seen a lot of controversy in past years, with numerous attempts to delist the wolves from federal protection, and heavy debate between both sides. Hunting supporters say populations have met recovery quotas and that this growing population threatens pets and livestock, and conflict with humans has been rising.

Hunting not only issue in wolf debate

Capital News Service
LANSING — When voters head to the polls on Nov. 4, they’ll find two ballot proposals concerning wolf hunting in the Upper Peninsula. However, hunting is only one part of an effort to manage the state’s wolf population, and only one part of the larger issue, according to researchers at Michigan State and Michigan Technological universities. Michigan removed wolves from its protected species list in 2011, and debate began in 2012 over whether to designate it as a game species, allowing establishment of a hunting season. “There are economic concerns, concerns about the deer population and cultural concerns” that also need to be examined, said Meredith Gore, an associate professor in the Fisheries and Wildlife Department and Criminal Justice School at MSU.