Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Archived Information - Control of Depredating Wolves in Michigan:
Decision and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Environmental Assessment: Management of Wolf Conflicts and Depredating Wolves in Michigan
WS was the lead agency in the preparation of the EA, and the USFWS was a cooperating agency The MDNR and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) were consulting agencies in the production of the EA. The USFWS has the primary statutory authority, under the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), for managing federally protected threatened or endangered species including wolves. While wolves are federally protected as an Endangered or Threatened species, permits or special 4(d) rules must be issued by the USFWS before select non-lethal (aversive conditioning and non-lethal projectiles) and all lethal WDM techniques may be used. WS is the Federal program authorized by law to provide Federal assistance with the reduction of damage caused by wildlife. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources provides for the control, management, restoration, conservation and regulation of birds, fish, game, forestry and all wildlife resources of the state. The Tribes exercise similar authority on tribal lands. The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC) participates in wildlife management and represents tribal interests in wildlife management on lands in the ceded territories.
The agencies prepared the EA to assist in planning WDM activities; to clearly communicate with the public the analysis of cumulative effects for a number of issues of concern in relation to alternative means of meeting needs for such management in the State, including the potential cumulative impacts on wolves and other wildlife species; and to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The analysis in the EA covers current and future WDM actions by WS, the USFWS, and the MDNR while wolves are federally protected under the ESA and WS actions once wolves are removed from the Federal list of threatened and endangered species. Comments from the public involvement processes for the EA and permit application were reviewed for substantive issues and alternatives which were considered in developing this decision (Chapter 6 of the EA).
The proposed action (EA Alternative 2) of WS and the USFWS is to permit and conduct an Integrated Wildlife Damage Management (IWDM) program for wolves on public and private lands in Michigan. The IWDM approach, commonly known as Integrated Pest Management (WS Directive 2.105) involves use and recommendation of a combination of methods to reduce damage. Wolf damage and conflict management is not based on punishing offending animals but as one means of reducing damage and is used as part of the WS Decision Model (Slate et al. 1992, USDA 1997 revised, WS Directive 2.201). The MDNR, organizations, associations, groups, and individuals have requested USFWS and WS assistance with the management of wolf conflicts and wolf damage in Michigan. All wolf damage management activities would be conducted in compliance with relevant laws, regulations, policies, orders and procedures, including the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
Services (APHIS-USDA) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service each signed
a Finding of No Significant Impact.