Monday, September 29, 2014

Column: Still plenty of problems with the wolf hunt


Wyoming's reckless 'shoot on sight' of its wolves is no longer tolerated as the following press release states from one of the organizations that filed the lawsuit.

WASHINGTON— Federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming were reinstated today after a judge invalidated the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's 2012 statewide Endangered Species Act delisting of the species. The ruling from the U.S. District Court halts the management of wolves by Wyoming, a state with a history of hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies.

This is good news for wolves.

It is about time states are held accountable for their cruel treatments of wolves, a recently endangered species. Delisting wolves federally put them in the hands of states that haven't learned from past mistakes. This surely is the beginning of the end for wolf hating state agencies in charge of wolf management.

Wisconsin's DNR is in the same category as Wyoming's by demonstrating the same, 'hostile and extreme anti-wolf policies.' This is all because DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp's handpicked Wolf Advisory Committee (WAC) is stacked with wolf haters.

Several scientists wrote a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services cautioning that vital information is missing from DNR wolf slaughter statistics.

Stepp booted several important scientists from her WAC that could have prevented vital information from being left out of DNR wolf slaughter Statistics in the first place.

Oh, but wait there's more.

Now Stepp wants the DNR to find out if dogs are really killing wolves in the woods. So listen to this, Stepp's solution is (to paraphrase) to ask wolf hunters to let federal wildlife officials watch them skin their wolf.

This latest blow for the health of Wisconsin wolf population makes it apparent Stepp's leadership skills are below standards, to the point of a complete loss of ethics. The Oxford dictionary defines 'ethics' as 'A branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles.'

The western schools of ethics break it down into three concepts or codes. The first being virtues such as justice for one. Then the second is duty such as morality. Thirdly that the principle of conduct for the benefit of the greatest number.

We now have a DNR administration completely unable to monitor or enforce if dogs are killing wolves. It is illegal for hunting dogs to engage and kill wildlife. Remember that US Fish and Wildlife Services are supposedly monitoring how well DNR can manage its wolves. After all, wolves were extinct or extirpated from our woods a few short decades ago and certainly could happen again if not managed wisely.

Stepp's WAC committee is run by citizen pro-wolf hunters that lack a moral compass. It is important to know that these fringe hunters are crafting this wolf hunt to suit their own agendas. Asking the wolf hunters to voluntarily submit to an inspection is outrageous and almost comical. Do you really think any hunter whose dogs just killed a wolf will volunteer for this sham?

This can be compared to asking a serial killer to volunteer to present his human kill to a medical examiner. Where is the professional conduct in this? Where is the justice for the illegally killed wolf/wolves?

The public perception is that dogs are killing wolves and that's illegal. And rules to monitor this controversial method of hunting should have been in place for the first wolf hunt. We are now approaching the third wolf hunt season.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Stepp must resign for dereliction of duty, because she willfully refuses to carry out her duties as DNR Secretary.

Citizens want wolves in Wisconsin and do not approve of the use of dogs in the wolf hunt. Public input must be respected.

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