Two conservation groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday to prevent the hunting and trapping of wolves, claiming that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources did not provide sufficient opportunity for public comment, according to a press release.
This fall would mark Minnesota's first-ever hunting and trapping season for wolves. The Center for Biological Diversity and Howling for Wolves, however, are seeking a premilinary injunction to prevent the opening this fall until the court case is resolved.
“The state rushed to issue wolf hunting and trapping rules without giving people a real chance to voice their opinions,” said Collette Adkins Giese, a Minneapolis-based attorney with the Center. “Especially considering the tremendous controversy around hunting and trapping of Minnesota’s wolves, state officials should have followed the law carefully to make sure they fully understood how the public felt about their decision.”
According to the Star Tribune, a spokesman for the DNR said state officials could not comment until they reviewed the lawsuit.
DNR officials initially said they would hold a series of public meetings for discussion of the hunt, but the Legislature intervened with a bill outlining the details for the hunt, the Star Tribune reported.
The DNR did host an online survey – of 7,351 responses, 1,542 people supported a wolf season and 5,809 opposed it.
Wolf hunting is scheduled to begin Nov. 3, and the state’s rules provide that 6,000 licenses will be sold to kill 400 wolves. The Pioneer Press reported that more than 23,000 people from across the country have applied for those licenses.