Wolf Plan Update

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So far in the wolf plan update process, the DNR has conducted a scientific public opinion survey, consulted with technical experts and tribal staff, convened a 20-member wolf advisory committee, and solicited public input. Public input in 2020 included virtual open houses, educational webinars, and an opportunity to participate in the discussion forum and questionnaire below.

Informed by the process to-date, the DNR’s draft update to the 2001 Minnesota wolf plan is available on the DNR wolf plan webpage. The DNR expects to finalize the wolf plan later this year.

So far in the wolf plan update process, the DNR has conducted a scientific public opinion survey, consulted with technical experts and tribal staff, convened a 20-member wolf advisory committee, and solicited public input. Public input in 2020 included virtual open houses, educational webinars, and an opportunity to participate in the discussion forum and questionnaire below.

Informed by the process to-date, the DNR’s draft update to the 2001 Minnesota wolf plan is available on the DNR wolf plan webpage. The DNR expects to finalize the wolf plan later this year.

  • Minnesota’s draft wolf plan update is ready for public review

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    Minnesota’s draft wolf plan update is ready for public review

    June 23, 2022

    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources welcomes comments through 4:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8, on a draft of Minnesota’s updated wolf management plan that incorporates the diverse views of Minnesotans and will guide the state’s approach to wolf conservation once finalized.

    “Wolf conservation is a high priority for the DNR and we expect this updated plan to help ensure Minnesota’s wolf population remains healthy,” said Dr. Kelly Straka (link sends email), wildlife section manager. “Thank you to those who have already contributed to the extensive public and tribal engagement that helped create this draft. We are now asking folks to review the draft and share their thoughts with us.”

    The updated plan includes summary information about Minnesota’s wolf population and the history of wolves in the state. It details the diverse and changing public attitudes about wolves, the legal status of wolves, tribal perspectives on wolves, and ways to support a healthy and resilient wolf population, while minimizing conflicts between humans and wolves. The draft plan also sets out a framework for future decision-making about whether to hold a wolf hunting or trapping season.

    To learn more about wolves in Minnesota and review and comment on the draft plan, visit the DNR wolf page (link is external) (mndnr.gov/Wolves).

    An informational webinar about the plan will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. Registration is required (link is external) and free, and participants will have an opportunity to pre-register to ask questions and comment during the webinar. The DNR expects to finalize the wolf management plan in the early fall.

  • DNR invites public input on wolf plan update

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    For Immediate Release
    Sept. 8, 2020

    Contact: Dan Stark, wolf management specialist, 218-328-8871.

    DNR invites public input on wolf plan update
    Virtual open houses planned and online comment will be available

    Minnesota’s iconic wolf is the focus of upcoming public input opportunities sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources. In three virtual meetings and a parallel online input period, the public will be asked to weigh in on various questions about wolves, including specific questions and open comment opportunities about wolf numbers and geographic range, conservation options, and impacts on agriculture and other wildlife species.

    The DNR is seeking this input as it updates the state’s current 20-year-old wolf management plan.

    “Discussions about wolves bring out opinions from a broad range of interests,” said Dan Stark, DNR wolf management specialist. “We want to both provide information about wolves in Minnesota and understand the concerns and issues that people have about the future of wolf management. These public meetings are part of a broader process to update the plan and give people an opportunity to share their views.”

    How to participate

    The virtual open houses will include informational presentations from the DNR and allow real-time public input and Q&A. The open houses will each focus on a particular geographic area, and all are welcome to join the open house focusing on their area of the state or region of interest. Each takes place from 6-8 p.m.

    • Northwest region - Sept. 29.
    • Central and southern region, including the Twin Cities metro area - Oct. 6.
    • Northeast region - Oct. 8.

    The open houses will be accessible by computer, smartphone, or phone (audio only for those joining by phone). Registration for the event is required and will be available Monday, Sept. 21, on the wolf plan webpage. Individuals who wants to be notified when registration opens can sign up to receive updates about wolves from the DNR. Attendees are encouraged to submit questions in advance on their registration form. The open houses will be recorded and available on the DNR website for those who cannot attend.

    The public will also be able to share their input by commenting on the DNR website from Tuesday, Sept. 29, through Sunday, Nov. 1. Once a draft plan is ready, anticipated later this year, people will be able to comment on the draft plan itself.

    “We look forward to having a dialogue about wolves in Minnesota,” Stark said. “What people think about where and how many wolves we have, conflicts regarding livestock depredation, the interrelationship of wolf and prey species, and future wolf management options are all important topics.”

    More about the DNR’s plan update

    Although wolves are currently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, the Minnesota DNR and tribal authorities actively manage and monitor the state’s wolf population. Updating the state’s 2001 wolf management plan is important regardless of whether the federal government changes the listing status of the wolf in Minnesota.

    Tribal staff as well as representatives of state and federal agencies, academic institutions, and other organizational partners involved in wolf management and research in Minnesota are providing expert input to the process to update the state’s wolf management plan through an ongoing technical committee.

    A 20-member wolf plan advisory committee is also working to identify issues and explore options for wolf conservation in Minnesota. Committee members represent hunting and trapping; wolf advocacy and animal rights; livestock and agriculture; and other interests related to wolf conservation and management.

    The state’s current 2001 wolf management plan guides wolf population monitoring, management, conflicts, enforcement, damage control, education, research and other issues. The DNR continues to be committed to taking a comprehensive approach to sustaining healthy wolf populations in Minnesota.

    The plan update is independent of any federal action on the status of wolves under the Endangered Species Act. The updated plan will be available in 2021. More information is on the DNR’s wolf management plan webpage.

  • DNR announces wolf plan advisory committee members

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    For Immediate Release
    Feb. 18, 2020

    Contact: Dan Stark, wolf management specialist, 218-328-8871.

    DNR announces wolf plan advisory committee members
    Members selected for breadth of perspectives on wolves

    Twenty Minnesotans have been selected to help update the state’s wolf management plan. They will serve on an advisory committee formed by the Department of Natural Resources.

    “We selected committee members to represent a range of perspectives on wolves,” said Dan Stark, DNR wolf management specialist. “We expect committee members to work constructively to identify issues, discuss differences, and explore options for enhancing wolf conservation in Minnesota.”

    Committee members represent diverse perspectives, including hunting and trapping; wolf advocacy and animal rights; livestock and agriculture; and other interests related to wolf conservation and management.

    Adopted in 2001, the
    state’s wolf management plan provides the framework that guides the state’s decisions about wolf regulations, population monitoring, management, conflicts, enforcement, damage control, education, research and other issues. The DNR is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to sustaining healthy wolf populations in Minnesota. The plan update is independent of any federal action on the status of wolves under the Endangered Species Act.

    The committee is one of several ways the DNR will work with the public in updating the plan. In addition to the advisory committee, the DNR will gather public input through:

    • A public attitude survey
    • Open houses
    • Public meetings
    • A public comment period on a draft plan

    With the public’s input, the DNR will evaluate wolf management and identify needed plan revisions. The updated plan is expected to be available in early 2021. Information about the plan update can be found on the DNR’s wolf management plan webpage.

    Tribal engagement and outside experts
    The DNR will also coordinate and communicate directly with Minnesota’s tribal governments regarding the plan update. In addition, the DNR will form a technical committee that includes representatives of agencies, academic institutions, and organizations involved in wolf management and research in Minnesota to provide expert input to the planning process.

    Committee members

    Advisory committee members, and their affiliation as applicable, are listed below:

    • Collette Adkins, Center for Biological Diversity
    • Ellen Candler, Minnesota Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
    • Christine Coughlin, Humane Society of the United States
    • Jason Dinsmore, National Wildlife Federation/ MN Conservation Federation
    • Jess Edberg, at-large member
    • Scott Engle, at-large member
    • Craig Engwall, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
    • Nancy Gibson, International Wolf Center
    • Miles Kuschel, Minnesota Farm Bureau
    • Gary Leistico, Minnesota Trappers Association
    • Travis Luedke, at-large member
    • Allen Lysdahl, Hubbard County Natural Resource Management Department
    • Angela McLaughlin, at-large member
    • Shirley Nordrum, at-large member
    • Susan Peet, at-large member
    • Gary Peterson, Carlton County Commissioner, representing Association of Minnesota Counties
    • Peter Ripka, Minnesota Farmers Union
    • William Severud, Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society
    • Jacob Thompson, Minnesota State Cattleman’s Association
    • Joseph Wolf, Howling for Wolves.
  • DNR to update Minnesota’s wolf management plan

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    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Nov. 25, 2019
    Contact: Dan Stark, wolf management specialist, 218-328-8871.

    DNR to update Minnesota’s wolf management plan
    Applications for new wolf plan advisory committee due Dec. 20

    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is updating the state’s wolf management plan and is looking to the public for input.

    To that end, the agency is creating a new wolf plan advisory committee to help inform the update to the management plan. Applications are now open for the committee, which is one of several ways the DNR will engage with the public on the plan.

    “It’s critical to have all voices about wolves at the table,” said Dan Stark, the DNR’s wolf management specialist. “With the public’s input, we can effectively evaluate how the wolf management plan is working and identify what may need to be improved.”

    Drafted in 2001, the state’s wolf management plan provides the framework that guides the state’s decisions about wolf regulations, population monitoring, management, damage control, education, research, and other issues.

    In addition to the advisory committee, the DNR will gather public input through:

    • A public perception survey;
    • A public comment period; and
    • Open houses at area wildlife offices.

    Tribal engagement and outside experts

    Separate from, but complementary to, these public engagement efforts, the DNR will coordinate and communicate work on the wolf plan directly with Minnesota’s tribal governments. In addition, the DNR is seeking to form a technical committee that will include natural resource agencies, tribal representatives, agricultural agencies, and universities to provide expert review of the information presented and discussed during the 12-month planning process.


    How to apply for the wolf plan advisory committee

    The DNR seeks committee members who represent diverse perspectives, including hunting and trapping; wolf advocacy and animal rights; livestock and agriculture; forestry, conservation and environmental protection; and local governments.


    People interested in serving can find information about the advisory committee’s structure and functions, expectations of members, and how to apply on the
    DNR website. The application deadline is Dec. 20. The DNR will select members in January, and convene the committee’s first meeting in February.


    Stark said the goal of the wolf management plan is to ensure the long-term survival of wolves in Minnesota while addressing wolf-human conflicts. “We know people have strong feelings about wolves,” Stark said, “so it’s important that we understand and consider Minnesotans’ diverse insights, concerns and values regarding wolves.”


    Meetings and engagement opportunities will begin in spring 2020 and continue through the summer. The plan is expected to be ready for final public review and comment next October and finalized in December 2020.


    The state’s 2001 wolf management plan resulted from legislation, a public input process, and recommendations from a 33-member advisory group. The planned update is part of the DNR’s commitment to ensuring the document reflects current issues and understandings about wolves.


    Information about wolves in Minnesota, annual population surveys, reported mortalities, responding appropriately to wolf encounters, and protecting pets and livestock can be found
    on the
    DNR’s wolf management web page.

Page last updated: 16 Aug 2022, 03:05 PM