Michigan has a fairly large recovered wolf population (over 500 wolves), but essentially all live in the UP, that part of the state which, geographically speaking, is upper Wisconsin. Despite reports of wolves in Lower Michigan, the Michigan DNR finds them so scattered they are stopping intensive monitoring for wolves in that part of the state.

DNR: Broad wolf search ends. But officials will continue case-by-case efforts. Bu Sheri McWhirter. Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

7 Responses to Little sign of wolves in Lower Michigan

  1. avatar Robert Hoskins says:

    My god, Ralph. Don’t tell Michigan UPers they’re actually Wisconsinites.

  2. I suppose I will hear from some folks who live in the U.P. 😉

  3. As a former Michigander, I would have to say that a lot of Yoopers would actually rather be associated with Wisconsin that Michigan.

    As for the wolves, what do you expect them to do, Cross the Mackinac bridge? 😉

  4. avatar Carl says:

    So far this year the Lakes have not frozen over so that wolves from the UP can cross to the LP. It has been colder though the last few weeks, so maybe there’s still a chance. Headed to the UP this weekend so I’ll see for myself. They are all Packer fans up there ya know!!!

  5. avatar JB says:

    As another former Michigander, I can second CTC’s sentiments. Yoopers refer to those of us from the lower peninsula as “trolls” (people who live under the bridge). Not quite as bad as some of the names I’ve been called, but not exactly flattering either.

    At any rate, there is an ample prey base in the LP–the problem (per usual) is people. There are more people, more cars, more roads, etc. in the LP. I think there is a large central corridor in the LP of Michigan where wolves could persist. This corridor runs south from the northern tip of the LP and include all areas north of Big Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, and Bay City (including the Manistee NF). Human populations in this part of Michigan are actually shrinking in many places (as the economy is just awful), while deer numbers keep going up.

    Thanks for brining this up Ralph!

  6. avatar Wolfy says:

    Good post, Ralph. The argument about Yoopers being part of Wisconsin is beyond me. I’ve lived all over the world, but I’m a Hoosier at heart. And I haven’t see too many differences in rural cultures in my travels. Locals are proud of who they are and where they live and don’t care much for outsiders wanting to change things. The issue of wolves in the upper and lower peninsulas is no different than wolves in Idaho and Oregon. There will be opposition to the further expansion of wolf habitat into un-wolved states. Or parts of states in the matter of Michigan’s peninsulas. As I’ve seen, supporters of wolves and their expansion are not the folks running around in the woods with guns. That’s mainly the haunts of the well-armed, anti-wolf crowd. Michigan’s lower peninsula will probably see a small population of wolves before long. And if they stay far away from populated areas, they may have a chance. Because, believe you me, there are plenty of folks out there that don’t want wolves in Michigan or Oregon. And some may resort to baiting, poisoning, or shooting wolves to prevent their expansion.

  7. avatar lucky lloyd says:

    My friend Mark & I were riding in the DALMAC last year and saw three wolves near Torch Lake close to a remote rural road. They were stalking something, saw us, and took off.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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