Wolves were delisted in the Great Lakes http://www.fws.gov/midwest/wolf/delisting/QAsFinalRuleDec2011.html in 2011 and the WI legislature immediately went into action creating a law that would allow a wolf hunting season 2011 WISCONSIN ACT 169 docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2011/related/acts/169. Our WI state legislators and us, as WI citizens are responsible for creating this wolf hunt(see the following link on how a bill in WI becomes law) http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/acc/pdf/habbl.pdf

Please don’t get me wrong here as it was evident that this bill was “ramrodded” through the legislature in a blink of an eye. This “creating of a law” allowing hunting of an iconic endangered species occurred before the ink was even dry on the delisting of wolves in our state. In essence we all agree this was a rush job to appease a minority of fringe hunters with ties to big money, “a paid lobbyist.” Why do I say WI citizens are responsible for this law to hunt wolves?

Wisconsinites elected the legislators to the position because that is how a democracy works. We as citizens must become active in our state to effect any changes to this act 169 that allows for the hunting of wolves. Of course we can look to the WDNR because they are in charge of over seeing our natural resources but remember they only have regulatory authority.

For instance, I had a question concerning the wolf public opinion survey. So I asked David MacFarland the WDNR carnivore specialist this question: why was the pubic not asked any questions regarding wolf hounding or trapping, and he replied with, “The survey was designed to inform upcoming management decisions on issues where the DNR has regulatory authority. The use of dogs and trapping are statutorily mandated and therefore outside the discretion of the DNR. Given the limited space on the survey a decision was made to focus questions on those areas where the Department has authority.” There you have it WDNR can only control regulatory decisions and not statutorily mandated, such as what gets made into law.

“We” the citizens of WI must work together to change this law by working within the framework of our states democracy. The use of dogs in the wolf hunt is of great concern for many Wisconsin residents. WODCW has many citizen volunteers working to change the law. Volunteers are out in your area with a petition that calls for the removal of dogs in the wolf hunt. Where to contact us If you want to find out where the petitions are for you to sign or, if you want to help out with this historic movement: wolvesdouglasco@gmail.com

What else can you do? Spread the word by talking with your neighbors, co-workers and family or friends. Make your opposition to wolf hounding or trapping known by exercising your right of protest. Pick a street corner and hold up a protest sign because this will help other citizens become aware that this is happening in our state. If anything remember you are the best citizen lobbyist and no amount of special interest money can take that that right away. We are in this together, and you can make a difference.

Wisconsin policy makers along with heads of WDNR that were appointed by the Governor are the ones citizens need to go to about this law or otherwise the alternative is to use your vote and vote them out of office.

Photos taken by Rachel Tilseth of wolf range in Douglas Co WI 08/31/14

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