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Actress Jessica Lange to Gov. Dayton: Suspend the wolf hunt

Actress Jessica Lange, a Minnesota native who lived for many years in Stillwater, has jumped into the state’s wolf hunt controversy with a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton urging him to suspend the coming hunting and trapping season.

She wrote in the letter made public on the Howling for Wolves website:

Minnesota’s wolves have been on my mind. I first became concerned last year when I learned of the Minnesota DNR’s plan to hunt and trap these native and iconic animals. We both know the vast majority of Minnesotans’ views were not fairly represented in the legislation that authorized our state’s first regulated wolf hunting and trapping season. Nearly all Minnesotans believe the wolf is an asset that should be protected for future generations.

Soon after area wolves came off the endangered species list last year, the Legislature authorized a hunting and trapping season for them. Last year, about 400 wolves were killed during the season. The DNR lowered the quota to 220 for the coming season, which opens in November.

Last month, Dayton defended the hunt, saying state officials were trying to control the wolf population. He also said that it’s the Legislature’s decision, not his.

But Lange wrote:

More than anything else, the cruel methods allowed for hunting and trapping wolves are deeply disturbing. The majority of Minnesota voters oppose these inhumane and unethical, yet legally sanctioned practices: Metal leg-hold traps that crush limbs, wire choke snares that cause painful brain bleeding, and bait like food and the calls of wolf pups in distress that lure adult protectors to their death.

As you again ask Minnesotans for the opportunity to lead our state, I ask that you show leadership on this issue by suspending the 2013-14 wolf hunt and direct all concerned state government bodies and agencies to get back to their stated goals of ensuring the long-term survival of the wolf in Minnesota, and reducing conflicts between wolves and humans.

Thursday afternoon, Dayton responded to a question about Lange’s letter:

“Since Ms. Lange no longer lives in Minnesota, it is understandable that she is not familiar with all of the considerations in the legislature’s decision to establish a wolf hunting season in Minnesota. That decision was written into law; thus only the legislature can change its terms.”

Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Steve Hoffman on 09/26/2013 - 03:12 pm.


    Anyone who wants to trap wolves should first have to spend a night outdoors, in the woods, with at least one leg caught in a man-sized leg-hold trap, and his hands tied so he can’t get it off. If you can’t stand it yourself, don’t inflict it on others.

  2. Submitted by Constance Sullivan on 09/26/2013 - 04:01 pm.

    Jessica Lange has a point about the Minnesota DNR not listening to the majority of people in Minnesota. Apparently, the DNR listens to those who shout loudest, in this case, men who lust after a vanity “kill,” and last year killed more than what would mean a sustainable number of wolves. In the very first hunt!

  3. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 09/27/2013 - 08:08 am.

    Farley M. says it well…

    “Whenever and wherever men have engaged in mindless slaughter of animals (including other men), they have often attempted to justify their acts by attributing the most vicious or revolting qualities to those they would destroy; and the less reason there is for the slaughter, the greater the campaign for vilification.” Farley Mowat

    Dayton surprises me in his response which essentially says or suggests you-can’t-go-home-again, interest wise, be you ordinary citizen or quasi- celebrity?

    Even Little Red Riding hood would be riding herd on this massacre for whose sake?..enough already. The big bad wolf doesn’t always fit the picture when overt, massive slaughter entertains men?

  4. Submitted by Julie Long Gallegos on 09/29/2013 - 01:52 pm.

    Dayton’s weak response to Lange’s strong letter

    Governor Dayton’s lame response to Jessica Lange’s strong and well-thought-out letter simply underscores the feeble case for the hunt, and the overwhelming case in favor of suspending the hunt. One doesn’t need to keep continued residence in the state in order to make correct observations, any more than one needs to stand outside in a downpour to be able to say with finality that it’s raining. What’s legal isn’t always what’s right and Governor Dayton clearly knows the wolf hunt isn’t right and isn’t even the will of the Minnesota public at large.

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