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      Crowds drawn to Lansing as wolf hunt legislation passes

      Opponents and proponents of the wolf hunt drew a large crowd in Lansing Wednesday as state representatives voted on legislation to allow the Natural Resources Committee to designate game species.

      Representatives voted and passed the measure 65 to 43. Because the proposed legislation was citizen initiated, the governor's approval is not needed. This negates two wolf hunt proposals that were slated for the November ballot.

      The hunt raised concerns among a handful of groups who feel the wolves need to be protected and praise from residents who say the animal is a problem.

      "I certainly voted to support it, it's a very serious issue in very small pockets of the Upper Peninsula," says State Representative John Kivela. "I've been supportive of this all along; I think our DNR does a tremendous job managing game in the state, and I think we need to continue to let them do it."

      The grey wolf was removed from the federal endangered species list in 2012. Last fall's wolf hunt was the first in decades.