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      Group starts another petition to protect wolves

      Opponents of hunting wolves in Michigan are preparing to gather signatures for a second ballot initiative aimed at stopping the practice. A group called Keep Wolves Protected collected more than 255,000 petition signatures earlier this year for a referendum on a newly enacted law that designated the wolf as a game species and authorized hunts. The signatures were enough to suspend the wolf hunt approved by the Natural Resources Commission.

      The Legislature passed another law, sponsored by Senator Tom Casperson that would make the referendum's outcome meaningless by giving the appointed Natural Resources Commission authority to decide which animals can be hunted. Governor Rick Snyder signed that bill into law back in May.

      Now, Keep Wolves Protected hopes to force a referendum on that measure as well. If enough signatures are gathered, the 2014 ballot will have two questions related to wolf hunting for voters to decide. But they won't be able to stop a hunt scheduled for this fall, which is expected to be approved again by the NRC during a meeting in July.