There’s a push to hold a wolf hunt even though there’s no updated state management plan in Wisconsin.

A wolf hunt in Wisconsin could happen as early as January 2021. The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association is pushing for a wolf hunt without allowing the public to weigh in. As it stands now with any delisting, because of the Walker administration’s legislation that mandated a wolf hunt, the WDNR has no choice, but to implement and manage a wolf hunt. There isn’t an updated wolf management plan. Updating the 1999 wolf management plan would require public input. And so it should! Wisconsinites I urge you to contact your state representatives and ask them to update the Wisconsin wolf management plan. To find your representatives click HERE

A Wisconsin grey Wolf. Photograph credit Snapshot Wisconsin.

I’ve been involved in Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery plan since the year 2000. The concern I have with the state management of its gray wolf is the legislative mandated wolf hunt. Wisconsin law, Act 169 states: if the wolf is not listed on the federal or Wisconsin endangered list, the department shall allow the hunting and trapping of wolves. A legislative mandated hunt of a species just off the ESL goes far beyond reason and usurps the Democratic process. Why did the legislature jump in making it “law” to hunt wolves in Wisconsin in the first place?

As it stands now with any delisting, because of the Walker administration’s legislation that mandated a wolf hunt, the WDNR has no choice, but to implement and manage wolf hunt.

That rush to hunt wolves by the Walker administration only led to a lawsuit. In 2013 a lawsuit by Humane Society of the United States and others aimed to halt the wolf hunting seasons in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and put the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes area back on the endangered species list. After three years of wolf hunting, including the controversial use of dogs, it led to a federal judge ordering that endangered species protection for gray wolves must immediately be restored in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The decision put an end to controversial hunts in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Once again, this October 2020, Feds removed the gray wolf from endangered species list, returning management to Wisconsin and other states. With this latest delisting it seems the state is on the way to repeating these mistakes again. Rob Stafsholt, a Wisconsin bear hunter is pushing for a wolf hunt to begin as early as January 2021.

Rob Stafsholt, a Wisconsin Bear hunter, and is now a senator for Wisconsin’s 10th district is pushing for a wolf hunt. He is on a mission to bypass public input and go straight to a wolf hunt. In a statement Stafsholt said: “This designation has returned management to the state. Under state statutes, the DNR is required to implement a harvest season, unless preempted by federal law. Wisconsin law establishes a wolf hunting season once federal protections are removed to begin on the first Saturday in November, and conclude on February 28th.

The Wisconsin Bear Hunters are pushing for a wolf hunt without allowing the public to weigh in. There isn’t an updated wolf management plan. Updating the 1999 wolf plan would requires public input.

Wolves should be returned back into the hands of the Department of Natural Resources where citizen’s will be allowed to weigh in. First and foremost is updating the 1999 grey wolf Management plan. A plan that allows input from all stakeholders not just Wisconsin Bear Hounders.

Wisconsinites I urge you to contact your state representatives and ask them to update the Wisconsin wolf management plan. To find your representatives click HERE

The grey wolf is part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy!

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