Sunday, January 11, 2015

Letter to the Editor: The Jury is Out on Wisconsin #Wolves

'The jury is out'

To the Editor:

“Would state management endanger wolves?” Three days following the relisting of Great Lakes Wolves, one of Wisconsin’s wolf recovery biologists, Richard Thiel, answered, “The jury is out.”
The following examples of mismanagement by Wisconsin may have something to do with that: 17 wolf packs are gone; plus 500 killed in trophy hunts; plus 170 killed at the behest of livestock; 180-360 poached wolves (see Stenglein UW-Madison); decrease in pack size to 3.2; the unprecedented use of hound dogs trained to track, trail and fight with adult wolves, breeding females, yearlings and pups 365/24/7; unenforced and increasing threats of poaching by fringe hunting groups; unregulated trapping in woods saturated with bait and gruesome traps including snares where up to 97 percent overkill was allowed in areas of prime wolf habitat; ongoing efforts by trophy hunting groups to establish unlimited killing of wolves in 2/3 of the state; no regulations to protect wolves at dens and rendezvous sites or during 9-day gun season when 590,000 deer hunters are on the landscape, a majority who have an encultured hatred for wolves. 

Is it no wonder that six independent biologists sent a letter in September to USF&WS requesting emergency relisting for Wisconsin’s wolves?

The Wolf Attitude Survey by the DNR cannot be denied; a majority of Wisconsin citizens inside and outside of wolf range not only want more wolves but ultimately want a say in how they coexist on the landscape with wolves which they’ve done for 40 years without wolf hunts.

In relisting Gray Wolves, the U.S. district court in it’s memorandum opinion stated “…at times, a court must lean forward from the bench to let an agency [USF&WS] know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough.” 

So it is with children who have repeatedly crossed the line and their parents in total frustration state, “Enough is enough! Go to your room and don’t come out until you’re ready to act appropriately.” So it is with Wisconsin’s NRB, DNR administrators and legislators alike.


Melanie Weberg