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Court of Appeals rules that wolf season can continue

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The Minnesota Court of Appeals today rejected a request for a preliminary injunction that would have stopped the state's inaugural wolf hunting and trapping season.

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That means the planned wolf hunting and trapping seasons will go as planned this fall and winter. Consistent with state law, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will issue 6,000 licenses, and the first season will start with the beginning of firearms deer hunting on Saturday, Nov. 3.

The late hunting and trapping season will begin on Nov. 24.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the petitioners, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Howling for Wolves, did not meet their burden of proving irreparable harm for an injunction to be issued.

"We are pleased with the court's decision," said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. "It resolves any uncertainty that hunters and trappers might have had about the upcoming season."

The petitioner's lawsuit to challenge the way the season was established is still before the Court of Appeals and will proceed on its merits. A decision is not expected until next year.

The DNR has taken a conservative approach to the state's first wolf season by establishing a total target harvest of 400 wolves and a mechanism to close seasons when target harvests are reached. Minnesota has a robust population of about 3,000 wolves, and the season will not have any significant impact on the population.

Consistent with the state's wolf plan, the DNR is committed to the long-term survival of wolves in the state and resolving conflicts between humans and wolves.

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