TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. -

Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a bill that could lead to the first wolf hunting season in Michigan since the predator was placed on the endangered species list in 1974.

The new law empowers the state Natural Resources Commission to decide which types of animals can be hunted. Previously, only the Legislature had that authority.

The commission could decide during a meeting Thursday whether to schedule a hunt for this fall, as recommended by the Department of Natural Resources. DNR biologists recommend letting hunters kill up to 43 wolves in three areas of the Upper Peninsula.

The measure Snyder signed Wednesday undercuts efforts to prevent wolf hunting by having a statewide referendum on another recently enacted measure that designated the gray wolf as a game species.