By Jon Wooten

The Capital Times

March 13, 2018

Dear Editor: It is do or die time for wolves and the legal framework that protects them as we know it. Congress is considering multiple bills and amendments to legislation (or “riders”) that would weaken the Endangered Species Act. These pieces of legislation would have devastating effects on wolves, other endangered species and the future of the Endangered Species Act itself.

The wolf rider, especially the judicial review prohibition, sets a dangerous precedent that threatens the checks and balances of our branches of government as established under our U.S. Constitution. This precedent, if permitted, could extend to legislation affecting civil rights, women’s reproductive freedom, immigration, etc. It needs to be blocked. Congress shouldn’t be in the business of picking off species to delist.

It is well recognized that Wisconsin is in no position to professionally or scientifically manage the gray wolf at the current time; delisting could not come at a worse time.

New research in Science Advances found that approximately 60 percent of the hunt management policies researchers studied in the United States lacked a scientific approach to management, which would include four “hallmarks” of science: having measurable objectives, being evidence-based, being transparent and being independently reviewed. Nearly every single management plan lacks basic science and democracy in Wisconsin and the clearcut case is wolves. A “goal” of 350 wolves in the Wisconsin wolf management plan was a number picked out of the air with zero scientific backing. The DNR’s own survey shows the public wants wolves protected. Until the public knows exactly how science is being used to inform state wolf policy (it isn’t), then democracy, wolves and endangered species protections must remain.

Featured image by John E Marriott


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