As announced in December of 2016 in the “Isle Royale National Park Draft Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves”, the National Park Service (NPS) has stated they selected a “Preferred Alternative” that takes 20-30 wolves to Isle Royale over a 3 to 5 year period.
An important point on this is that this is just a “Preferred Alternative”, it is not a decision to implement anything — what they prefer is subject to possible change. The actual decision is said to be coming in the Fall of 2017.
The formal comment period is closed, but one American truth we can work with is that good things happen when there is significant public engagement:
- Isle Royale would not have become a National Park without public support.
- The Wilderness Act would not have become law without public support.
- Public support can play a part in getting wolves to Isle Royale National Park.
The people that will make the decision are still listening. In order to get their attention (i.e. we need them to know what the public opinion is), I would suggest a physical (paper) letter to your congressional representatives. The letter does not need to say much beyond your stance on NPS taking wolves to Isle Royale.
If you can, also send letters to NPS Director, the NPS Regional Director, NPS Isle Royale Superintendent, and the governor of Michigan, or copy them on the letters you send to your representatives.
Thank you for being involved.
You can use the following links to find your representatives in the House and Senate.
- To find your US representative by zip code, visit www.house.gov/representatives/find
- To find your senator by state go to: www.senate.gov/pagelayout/senators/f_two_sections_with_teasers/states.htm
Addresses for the other people I mentioned are listed below:
- Michael T. Reynolds, Acting Director, National Park Service, 1849 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20240
- Cam Sholly, Regional Director, National Park Service, 601 Riverfront Drive, Omaha, NE 68102-4226
- Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896
- Governor Rick Snyder, P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan 48909
As an example, my letter to my representative is included below:
Hudsonville, MI 49426
June 13, 2017
Congressman Bill Huizenga
Washington D.C. Office
2232 Rayburn HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Subject: Isle Royale Concerns
Dear Mr Huizenga,
I have been involved in the Predator/Prey Study at Isle Royale National Park, and through this involvement, have become very concerned about the ecosystem of Isle Royale — one of Michigan’s most beloved wilderness areas. It is important for us to take steps to ensure a viable predator population on the island. Please take whatever steps you can to make sure the National Park Service follows through with its preferred direction to take wolves to the island. Your part might include making sure funding is available. A final decision is expected in the Fall of 2017.
As background, we find ourselves in a similar situation that the island faced in the 1930’s and 1940’s when we had a growing moose population on the island and no predator. At that time, at least four of our wilderness forefathers (Aldo Leopold, Sigurd Olson, Olaus Murie, and Adolph Murie) were in favor of introducing wolves in order to preserve Isle Royale wilderness. Note that you would find these men opposed to “development” in a wilderness area, but you would also find them willing to take steps to “preserve” the ecosystem. We must be as willing as our forefathers to protect what has been entrusted to us.
Thank you for your assistance. I would be willing to discuss this matter with you at any time.
Please note that the same letter has gone to:
- Senator Gary Peters
- Senator Debbie Stabenow
- Michael T. Reynolds, Acting Director, National Park Service
- Cam Sholly, Regional Director, National Park Service
- Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park
- Michigan Governor Rick Snyder