On Wednesday January 10th the Committee on Natural Resources & Sporting Heritage held a Public Hearing on Assembly Bill 712.
Assembly Bill 712 is legislation not guided by or based on good sense. This bill ties the hands of local law enforcement from assisting federal authorities in any investigation into the illegal killing of Wisconsin’s wild wolf. Considering 20% of wolf mortalities were illegal killings in 2016 this bill is rather ill conceived. Wolves are a federally protected endangered species.
Jodi Sinykin Habush, an attorney spoke along with her son, Zack Sinykin in opposition to AB 712.
“It’s not a clear issue and it’s difficult to resolve as it makes sense,” said Jodi Habush Sinykin, environmental attorney for Midwest Environmental Advocates. “There are millions of dollars of federal funds at stake as well if Wisconsin were to pursue this task.”
Rep. Nick Milroy (D-South Range) made note at the absence of the bill’s author.
Milroy said he was disgusted that Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) could not be present for the public hearing on Assembly Bill 712.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a committee hearing in my life where the lead author of the bill has not shown up for the public hearing,” said Milroy. “There’s some speculation that the whole reason for this bill is because the author of the bill is running for another office right now and the election is next week.”
The vote on this bill is not going to happen until after the election, of which has no concern for this committee at this time,” kleefisch said. Kleefisch is chairman of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage.
Many concerned citizens came out at Wednesday’s Public Hearing in opposition to AB 712. Wisconsin
State HSUS Representaive Melissa Tedrowe spoke in opposition against any trophy hunting of wolves, further stating the importance of wolves on the landscape. Tedrowe made it clear that Humane Society of the United States is an animal protection agency, and is opposed to the sport hunting of wolves. “Seventeen wolf packs disappeared in three years of wolf hunting,” said Tedrowe. Sport hunting of wolves indiscriminately messes with wolf packs and increases conflict. “Wolves are trophies when they are hunted and nobody eats them,” said Tedrowe.
Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, questioned the companion Senate bill author Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, whether the legislation would lead to illegal killings.
“Aren’t you giving free license to people, at least as far as the state’s concerned, to violate both state and federal law?”
“Tiffany told the committee it’s the federal government’s responsibility to manage wolf populations.”
“They should hire the staff necessary to review these things if they believe it’s that important,” said Tiffany.
“The wolf plays an important role in the culture of all of Wisconsin Indian tribes,” he said. “Lack of wolf protection, as this bill would cause, would probably result in tribes losing packs on reservation lands and portions of the ceded territories.” Said Adrian Wydeven, of Timber Wolf Alliance.
What’s next for this ill conceived bill?
The companion bill of AB 712 is scheduled for a Senate Public Hearing Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 10:00 AM.
Senate Bill 602 Relating to: enforcement of federal and state laws relating to the management of the wolf population and to the killing of wolves and expenditure of funds for wolf management purposes. By Senators Tiffany, Vukmir and Craig; cosponsored by Representatives Jarchow, Felzkowski, Quinn, Kremer, E. Brooks, Skowronski, Krug, Kleefisch, Swearingen, Stafsholt, Kulp, Brandtjen, Tauchen, Ripp, Edming, Vorpagel, Rohrkaste and Horlacher.
Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin remains in opposition of AB 712. Read more Please take action to protect Wisconsin’s wild wolf from legislation not guided by or based on good sense…