ST. PAUL, Minn. - Opponents of wolf hunting and trapping are petitioning the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to stop this year's hunt.
The DNR set up a wolf hunt season after the federal government took the gray wolves off the endangered list in January. But, Maureen Hackett of the opposition group Howling for Wolves says the DNR is moving too fast.
"It's a heritage species and a legacy species," Hackett said. "What is the rush to hunt? It's endangering these animals again."
More than two dozen people rallied at the DNR headquarters in St. Paul Thursday before meeting with DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr and handed over a six page request to overrule the hunt scheduled to start in November.
"Biologists tell us you could harvest a quarter of them and not have an impact," said Commissioner Landwehr. "Our season proposal of 400 animals is very responsible and very sustainable.
The DNR says they're committed to ensuring their long-term survival and monitor population. They say the upcoming hunt will give owners of livestock and domestic pets more protection from wolf depredation.
However, groups like Howling for Wolves say there's no telling what a hunt will do, no matter how conservative.
"Once you start randomly killing healthy, functioning, non-problematic wolves you break up the packs," Hackett said. "You could create more livestock depredation and chaos in the social structure."
Howling for Wolves has placed billboards up across the Twin Cities steering people to stopthewolfhunt.org.
The International Wolf Center, an organization dedicated to the education of wolves, offers information about this issue and wolves in Minnesota on their website wolf.org.
The wolf population in Minnesota is estimated at 3,000.
(Copyright 2012 KARE and The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )