WHITE EARTH RESERVATION, MINN. -The White Earth Reservation Tribal
Council recently issued a Proclamation providing for all lands within the exterior boundaries of the White Earth Reservation to be set-aside as a wolf sanctuary.
No hunting, trapping or possession of wolves is permitted within the exterior boundaries of the White Earth Reservation by any person, Indian or non-Indian, according to a news release from the tribe.
Additionally, the Tribal Executive Committee, the governing body of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, which compromises the White Earth, Leech
Lake, Mille Lacs, Fond du Lac, Bois Forte and Grand Portage Reservations, recently passed a resolution confirming the authority of each of the six constituent reservation governing bodies over the regulation of natural resources within their respective reservation boundaries.
The White Earth Nation has not independently determined that the wolf population on the White Earth Reservation has reached an optimum level that would permit a wolf hunt at this time.
The gray wolf was recently removed from the federal Endangered Species list, and the State of Minnesota has not engaged in any meaningful management plan before abruptly declaring a wolf hunt season in Minnesota; nor has the state engaged in any type of meaningful consultation
with the White Earth Nation prior to declaring a wolf hunt season.
Accordingly, the White Earth Nation has determined that a sanctuary for wolves within the exterior boundaries of the White Earth Reservation is required in order to responsibly examine the factors that are necessary for
the preparation of a wolf management plan for the reservation.
It is a violation of federal law to hunt on tribal lands without a properly issued permit. A permit to hunt wolves that is issued by the State of Minnesota does not allow a hunter to hunt or trap wolves on White Earth tribal lands, according to the news release.
In related news, the Minnesota Supreme Court on Friday denied a petition for further review of a request for preliminary injunction to stop Minnesota's wolf season.
DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said in a news release that this action resolves any uncertainty that hunters and trappers might have had about the upcoming season, which begins Saturday, Nov 3.
The planned wolf hunting and trapping seasons will go as planned this fall and winter. The DNR has taken a conservative approach to the state's first wolf season by establishing a total target harvest of 400 wolves and a mechanism to close seasons when target harvests are reached.
Landwehr said Minnesota has a robust population of about 3,000 wolves, and the season will not have any significant impact on the population.
Applicants not selected in this year's early or late season wolf license lottery can purchase a surplus license on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at noon on Monday, Oct. 29, according to the Minnesota DNR.
There are 614 surplus licenses available for the early season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 3, and coincides firearms deer season in each of Minnesota's three wolf hunting zones.
Any eligible hunter, regardless of whether he or she entered the wolf season lottery, may purchase a remaining early season license at noon on Thursday, Nov. 1.
The DNR allocated 3,600 wolf licenses for the early hunting season. The remaining 2,400 licenses are for the late season, which begins Saturday, Nov. 24, and concludes Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013. Trappers were allocated 600 of the late season licenses.
Surplus wolf licenses are available from any DNR license agent, online at www.mndnr.gov/buyalicense or by telephone at 888-665-4236. Complete wolf hunting regulations are available online at www.mndnr.gov/hunting/wolf.
Hunters and trappers selected by lottery for the late season must buy their licenses by Thursday, Nov. 15.