State Rep. Steve Johnson recently introduced a resolution calling on the National Park Service to establish a moose tag lottery hunt on Isle Royale, in order to help control the island’s exploding population.
Isle Royale is a remote island in Lake Superior that is home to a moose population that has grown from just 515 in 2011 to more than 2,000, according to a report compiled by Michigan Technological University (MTU). MTU’s “Wolf Study 2018-2019 Annual Report” estimated the average growth rate of the island’s moose population is 19 percent each year.
“Approximately 40 national parks currently allow some form of hunting as part of their wildlife management practices,” said Johnson, of Wayland. “Hunting season is right around the corner, and not only would a targeted hunt make for an exciting opportunity for Michigan hunters, but it would also be another tool to help control the exploding moose population on Isle Royale.”
Currently, the increased moose population in Michigan has created an ongoing ecological dilemma as the moose feed on the park’s balsam fir trees and other vegetation. Previous attempts over the years to introduce additional wolves to balance out the moose to wolf ratio have not been effective.
“It’s not often we have the opportunity to give hunters a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, help protect Michigan’s most pristine national park, and spur economic growth in the U.P.,” said Johnson. This is a true win-win-win.”
House Resolution 154 has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation for further consideration.