State House OKs bill that could allow wolf hunt - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

State House OKs bill that could allow wolf hunt

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Photo of a Gray Wolf at the Seney Natl. Wildlife Refuge in Michigan -- courtesy of the Seney Natural History Association. Photo of a Gray Wolf at the Seney Natl. Wildlife Refuge in Michigan -- courtesy of the Seney Natural History Association.
LANSING, MI (AP) -

The Republican-led state House has approved a bill that could block voters from deciding whether to allow wolf hunting in Michigan.

The measure passed 72-38 Thursday. It would allow the Natural Resources Commission to decide which types of wildlife can be hunted. Currently only the Legislature has that power.

Opponents say it's an attempt to run around a proposed referendum on wolf hunting. They say lawmakers want to get the measure passed before the state Board of Canvassers certifies they've collected enough signatures for a 2014 statewide.

If enough signatures are deemed valid, no wolf hunt could be held until after the referendum.

The measure passed in the Senate last week and will soon head to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk.

Wolves were classified as endangered in Michigan in the 90s and remained on the list until 2007. The animals are more prevalent in the Upper Peninsula, but most estimates put the number of wolves in the state at less than 1,000.

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Online: Senate Bill 288: http://1.usa.gov/ZH4MTy

Copyright 2013 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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