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Michigan’s wolf management plan: What do tribes think? (July 22, 2022)

Nichole Biber, LTBB (Waganakising) Odawa Tribal Citizen; and Erin Johnston, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has put forth an updated plan for wolf management. Although the DNR currently is unable to implement the plan due to a federal court order, should the order be lifted the proposed wolf management plan would dictate how wolves would be treated in Michigan. The plan allows for a significant number of wolves to be killed in order to satisfy hunters’ desire for trophies.

How do tribes view the plan? On the next UPEC Livestream, we will have two tribal members, Nichole Biber and Erin Johnston, who can explain what the wolf means to them. Has the DNR consulted with tribes? Have their views been incorporated into the management plan? In ceding territory to the US government in the 1800s. tribes signed the documents with the provision that hunting and fishing rights in the ceded territories would be open to them. How does this play into wolf hunting?

Our guests

Dr. Nichole Biber, Elementary School Librarian, LTBB (Waganakising) Odawa Tribal Citizen. Nichole volunteers with the Anishinaabek Caucus, serving as the lead for the Wolf Preservation Team. Through a narrative of collective survival, she strives to communicate how Wolves are necessary to both the science of ecological balance, and to the continuation of Indigenous spiritual teachings that identify Ma’iingan, Wolf, as brother.

Erin Johnston, Wildlife Biologist/Wildlife & Habitat Section Lead, KBIC. Erin is responsible for management and oversight of projects and surveys related to wildlife, habitat, and wetlands within the L’Anse Indian Reservation. Current projects and long-term monitoring efforts focus on bats, waterfowl, herptafauna, and wolves. The Wildlife Program continues to grow and diversify as we build capacity and strengthen partnerships. Erin’s professional affiliations include the Michigan Wetland Association, Intertribal Chronic Wasting Disease Working Group, and Partners for Watershed Restoration.

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