The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for the Wolf Management Advisory Council, an advisory body that is being re-established in light of federal delisting (which went into effect Jan. 4) of gray wolves as a threatened or endangered species.

The purpose of the council is to make recommendations on wolf management in Michigan. It will be comprised, at minimum, of representatives from conservation, hunting and/or fishing, agricultural and animal advocacy organizations, as well as tribal government, as specified in state statute.

Applications for the council will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4. Request an application by emailing or calling the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

On Nov. 3, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to remove gray wolves from the federal list of threatened and endangered species in the lower 48 states. The action took effect Jan. 4, 2021.

With the federal delisting of wolves, two state laws – Public Act 290 of 2008 and Public Act 318 of 2008 – became effective. These laws allow residents to use lethal control on wolves that are in the act of killing or wounding livestock or a dog.

Wolves in Michigan are still a protected game species, and the taking of a wolf that is not in the act of killing or wounding livestock or a dog is illegal. The mere presence of a wolf near livestock or a dog does not authorize the use of lethal control.

From an estimated survey of 140 wolves in 1998, to more than 600 every year since 2011, gray wolf populations in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula have recovered, based on goals set by state and federal governments. Wolf management in Michigan is currently is being updated. There will be the opportunity for public input as work to refresh the plan continues.