Gray Wolf (Canis lupus)
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Summary of the Michigan DNR Wolf Management Plan Dated (Dec. 15, 1997)
State Reclassification/Delisting/Relisting Criteria
Den/rendezvous sites (occupied within the last two years) will be protected by a two-ring protective zones, whether on private or public land. The inner ring, 100 meters in radius, will be a zone of no land use activity at any time. No new roads or trails should be constructed, and existing forest roads and trails should be obliterated. Recreational use of the area will not be discouraged. In the second zone, out to ½ mile from the home site, most land use activities will be allowed during the August though February period. Clear-cutting is allowed, as long as travel corridors from the home site to adjacent standing timber are maintained. No new permanent roads or trails should be constructed, and temporary road (e.g., for timber harvest) should be closed or obliterated after their need has passed.
If current road densities are at or below 1 mi. per sq. mi., they should be kept at that level. [Presumably this applies only to areas of the UP that are currently suitable wolf habitat, as shown by Figure of the Plan. The plan also implies that areas with higher densities should have some roads closed to achieve this lowered density but note the discussion on p 26 indicating reduction of road densities may not be important "if people are...tolerant". Road closure specifically for wolves was an issue during scoping for the state wolf plan, at public meetings, state officials emphasized there would be no road closure or wide spread access restriction just for wolves.] Temporary roads should be closed when their purpose has been achieved. The plan notes recent evidence that wolves may be able to recolonize areas of higher road and human density than previously believed provided "people are generally tolerant of wolves". Reduction of existing road densities may not be as important as avoiding an increase in road density.
Linkage zones, or regional habitat corridors, should be identified and preserved to connect wolf populations in MN, WI, MI, and Ontario. All natural resource agencies and potentially affected landowners should be involved in their identification and protection. "Sanctuaries" or large areas of wilderness do not need to be set aside for wolves.Existing deer habitat improvement and maintenance programs by the DNR and national forests will be adequate to maintain a sufficient deer population to support a viable wolf population. No additional deer habitat management, or habitat management to increase the population of any other prey species, is considered necessary specifically to benefit wolves.
This summary was developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3, Division of Endangered Species, Ft. Snelling, MN, with the assistance of the East Lansing, MI, Ecological Services Field Office.