The Department of Natural Resources has been trying to manage the wolf population in the form of hunting and trapping. That period is over for the moment, and wolf advocates don't want to see it come back.
For many Minnesotans, there is a strong emotional connection to the wolf. For Sandra Skinaway, it's a spiritual connection, too. As an Ojibwa, she has traveled three hours to St. Paul to try and convince lawmakers to protect the wolves.
At a rally organized by Howling for Wolves, lawmakers and advocates pushed for a series of bills on wolf protection. Among them, a bill by senators Kris Eaton (DFL-Brooklyn Center) and Scott Dibble (DFL-Minneapolis) to impose a new moratorium on the wolf hunt should a federal judge's recent order get overturned.
"The moratorium would stop another hunt for a least 5 years during the time which we could have a public comment period and work on some non-lethal means to manage the wolf," Sen. Eaton said.
Another bill would outlaw the use of snare traps, where a wire slowly strangles an animal. Advocates also want support for wolf management that doesn't involve trapping or hunting.
"We'd like support, we'd like funding for non-lethal methods so that livestock producers have other options available and that they're supported in letting wolves live instead of only being supported when they have a wolf killed and they get reimbursed," Maureen Hackett with Howling for Wolves said.
All three bills on a 5 year hunting moratorium were just introduced Thursday in the Senate. No hearings have yet been scheduled.