A group working to ban wolf hunting and trapping in Minnesota was labeled the “Non-profit of the Game” at the Minnesota Timberwolves season opener.
Howling for Wolves, the leading group opposing wolf management in Minnesota, paid $2,000 to the Timberwolves franchise for the non-profit designation and was allowed a booth at the game. As “Non-profit of the Game”, the group was also given a 30-second public service announcement to encourage fans to visit the booth where they could sign a petition to stop the upcoming wolf hunting season that begins November 9th.
Timberwolves spokesman Brad Ruiter says a wide variety of groups have signed up to do this over the years, and it does not constitute a team endorsement of their views, according to sctimes.com. Sportsmen and others disagree.
“By giving this animal rights group a high profile platform, the Timberwolves are in fact endorsing the group to all those in attendance,” says Nick Pinizzotto, USSAF president and CEO. “It’s disappointing for such a high profile organization to allow this type of propaganda that is contrary to scientific fact.”
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF), state agency professionals, and numerous other leading sportsmen’s groups have fought in legislatures and courts over the past five years to have wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin removed from the Endangered Species list (ESA) as their populations have greatly exceeded target levels.
In January 2012, in response to a petition from USSAF and partners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced that gray wolf populations in the Western Great Lakes region had exceeded recovery goals and should no longer be protected under the ESA. This move returned wolves to state management in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin and some portions of adjoining states. This move opened the door for the first wolf hunting and trapping seasons.
Take Action! Sportsmen and women should contact Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor to voice their opposition to recognizing animal rights groups such as Howling for Wolves. Tell him that giving groups such as that a platform works against sound science and conservation efforts in Minnesota and elsewhere. You can email the Timberwolves here.