Statewide Ballot Issues: Proposals 2014-1 & 2014-2
Memorandum 1129, September 2014
At the November 4, 2014 general election, Michigan voters will be presented with two questions related to the same subject: wolf hunting in the Upper Peninsula. Proposals 14-1 and 14-2 are voter-initiated referenda on Michigan laws enacted in 2012 and 2013, respectively, to permit and regulate wolf hunting. The goal of each referendum when petitions were circulated and filed with the state was to forbid wolf hunting in the state now and in the future. Approval of either or both laws by the voters in November, would open the door to a potential hunt during the 2014 wolf hunting season (November through December); however, the Natural Resources Commission, which would gain the authority to establish a hunting season under both laws, has indicated that, because of timing issues with setting up a hunt, there will not be a hunt for the upcoming season. The Natural Resources Commission’s decision to refrain from authorizing a 2014 wolf hunt effectively renders moot the statewide votes on Proposals 14-1 and 14-2 as they relate to wolf hunting for the upcoming season.
Regardless of the outcomes of the two votes on Proposals 14-1 and 14-2, wolf hunting will be allowed beginning with the 2015 hunting season. Authorization to establish a future wolf hunt was granted to the NRC under Initiated Law 1 of 2014 (Public Act 281 of 2014), the Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (SFWCA), in August 2014. The adoption of the SFWCA has limited the effect of the two referenda votes to the 2014 wolf hunting season. The SFWCA takes effect 90 days after the end of the 2014 legislative session (i.e., late March 2015), well after a 2014 wolf hunting season concludes.