An all-day petition drive with numerous NMU student organizations is planned for March 20, 2013.
Organizers hope to have Michigan Secretary of State representatives on hand to register people to vote.
Only registered Michigan voters can sign the petitions provided by Keep Michigan Wolves Protected that seek a Nov. 2014 referendum.
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected have until March 27 to get 161,305 signatures to allow voters to decide the fate wolves.
"This is (about) hatred" of wolves, said Adam Robarge, Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Upper Peninsula coord.
"I see zero reasons" for a wolf hunt, Robarge said. Wolves and deer have evolved "with each other for thousands of years."
Northern Michigan University students crossed campus in wind-driven heavy snow showers on Feb. 27, 2013 to sign the petition to save Michigan gray wolves from being hunted.
NMU EarthKeepers II Student Team
Native American Students Association (NASA)
Wolves "just got off the endangered species list so to hunt them seems premature," said NMU EarthKeepers II Student Team member Adam Magnuson, 21, of Marquette. "It is interesting that people want to hunt an animal that they rarely see."
Many "people seem to think that the wolf is some big bad animal but there has never been a recorded attack on a human in Michigan history," said Magnuson, an NMU environmental studies and sustainability major. Research shows "wolves aren't so scary."
"We need to be careful to consider the ecological and biological" impacts of a wolf hunt, said NMU EarthKeepers II Student Team member Katelin Bingner, 20.
U.P. wolves are "just getting re-established firmly now," said Bingner, NMU sophomore biology major from Spring Arbor, MI. The public should "vote on such an important issue."
"There is still a lot broken in the world in our understanding on how things connect" but "people's eyes are opening to the reality of the connectedness of humans to the wider world," Bingner said.
The interfaith NMU EarthKeepers II "need to defend what Native Americans believe," Magnuson said.
Catholic "St. Francis of Assisi befriended a wolf and is often depicted in images with a wolf," said Tom Merkel, NMU Catholic Campus Ministry peer minister at St. Michael Parish.
Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is "the green pope" and "is very pro-environment saying the church has to ... protect God's Creation," Merkel said. "He has made the Vatican very green which is pretty cool."
"The wolf is one of their (Anishinaabe) religious symbols and we have to protect that," Merkel said.
Hannah Vallier and Amanda Weinert are NASA co-presidents and citizens of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
"I am wolf clan (ma'iingan-doodem) -- we believe that we're related (to wolves)," Vallier said. Killing a wolf is "almost like me killing my own brother."
Wolves "are important to tribal people" and Anishinaabe heritage/culture, said Weinert, 21.
Weinert explained a traditional story from elders that "the first Anishinaabe man was lonely and asked for a companion."
"Gitchi Manitou (the Great Spirit) gave him a wolf or ma'iingan," Weinert said. "They went on a journey to name all the plants and animals."
After the journey "they were told they could no longer be companions" but will stay connected and live parallel lives, said Weinert of Garden, MI.
Weinert said today Native Americans and wolves continue to "live parallel lives."
"The connections between native people and wolves" include "we've both been relocated" slaughtered and misunderstood, said Weinert, an NMU senior.
Weinert said the thought of a Mich. wolf hunt makes her "sad and is very distressing."
Republican Governor Rick Snyder signed a law making the wolf a game animal.
A Feb. 2013 lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar by the Humane Society of the United States, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of Animals and Their Environment, Help Our Wolves Live, and Born Free USA.
Before delisting, MN had about 3,000 wolves, while MI and WI had 687 and 782, respectively.
Tonya Littlewolf has rescued wolves all her life. At a sanctuary in the empty California desert, she looks after 14 majestic wolves which have been rescued from breeders. Yet, as she cares for the creatures, even feeding them mouth-to-mouth, Tonya questions whether these wolves would be better off in the wild. WOLF MOUNTAIN is a beautiful portrait of Tonya that explores her spiritual connection with the serene and misunderstood animals.
Directed and Produced by:
Dan Duran, Brendan Nahmias, Sam Price-Waldman
Cinematography and Editing by:
Dan Duran and Sam Price-Waldman