Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
Summary of Minnesota's State Law Pertaining to Wolf Management
HF 3046, as passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Ventura
Contrary to much discussion in the media, this law is not a wolf management plan. It changes existing state statutes to give the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) the authority necessary to manage gray wolves, specifies how wolves may be legally taken in Minnesota, and requires the development of a wolf management plan. It does not include any wolf population goals, habitat protection features, or population or health monitoring requirements; these presumably will be included in the wolf management plan the DNR is directed to develop. Most of the provisions of this bill can be implemented by the State only after Federal delisting of the gray wolf has been completed.
Management Plan.The Departments of Natural Resources, in consultation with the Department of Agriculture, shall develop a wolf management plan with the goals of (1) ensuring the long-term survival of the wolf in Minnesota, (2) reducing wolf-human conflicts, (3) minimizing wolf depredation on livestock and domestic pets, and (4) manage the ecological impact of wolves on their prey and other predators.
Compensation. The owner of livestock killed by a wolf, or livestock so injured by a wolf that they must be destroyed, shall be compensated at the fair market value of the animals.
Zones. Minnesota is divided into Zone A and Zone B. (Map of zones, courtesy of MN DNR) Zone A consists of Wolf Management Zones 1-4 in the Federal Recovery Plan for the Eastern Timber Wolf and is roughly the northeastern one-third of Minnesota. It is estimated that about 90 percent of Minnesota's wolves are in Zone A. Zone B is identical to Wolf Management Zone 5 in the 1992 Federal Recovery Plan and includes about 64 percent of the State. (In earlier versions of this legislation these zones were called the Gray Wolf Zone and the Agriculture Zone.)
Taking of Wolves.The taking or harassment of gray wolves in Minnesota is allowed as follows. (Taking of wolves in any other manner is a gross misdemeanor.)
Cooperative Agreement with U.S. Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services. DNR may develop an agreement to have USDA Wildlife Services control problem wolves, conduct training for state predator controllers, and perform other functions.
Reporting Wolf Takings. All takings of gray wolves, except as done by certified predator controllers, must be reported to a conservation officer within 48 hours, and all evidence must be protected.
Public Hunting or Trapping.There will be no open season for the trapping or hunting of gray wolves for five years following the Federal delisting of the gray wolf, and then only after public comment.
Hybrid and Captive Wolves. Wolf-dog hybrids may not be released. Captive wolves may not be released without a permit from the DNR