Public is Invited to Comment at a Special Natural Resources Board Meeting: As GOP Legislators Push to Establish a Trophy Wolf Hunt

Photograph credit John E Marriott

This Friday January 22, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will meet virtually for a Special Meeting to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021. Im a wolf tracker and founder of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin, was glad to hear the DNR is holding off on a wolf hunt. WPR I oppose a recreational hunt on wolves because we have to take a look at the species and manage the species for its health. I would like to see an updated wolf management plan that includes broad public input along with an updated survey on public attitudes toward wolves. And so would many Wisconsinites. Wisconsin’s Green Fire released a report outlining its recommendations for wolf management. Source.

The following news article is from Wisconsin Public Radio 

Adrian Wydeven, a former DNR biologist, now serves as co-chair of the wildlife work group for Wisconsin’s Green Fire. He said in a briefing on the report before the DNR’s announcement that the group is proposing the agency maintain the wolf population.

“Until a new wolf conservation plan is in place, we encourage (them) to maintain the population near current levels, which are estimated to be between 866 to 1,034 wolves,” said Wydeven. 

He said it’s important the wolf population not be drastically reduced until a new management plan is developed.

Fellow group member, Peter David, a wildlife biologist with the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, said during a briefing on the report that they’re also making recommendations that the state have separate wolf committees and wolf stakeholder groups in the development of a wolf management plan.

“That’s really in the best interest, I think, of the Wisconsin public,” said David. “It also, frankly, I think, serves the tribes better to separate out some of the best science recommendations and those social recommendations and keep those distinct from each other until some sausage has to be made with them in the end.”

The group is also recommending changes to state law to ensure the agency has authority over the wolf harvest and wolf management. They also want to ensure that tribal rights and interests are considered in management plans since the wolf is culturally significant to Wisconsin tribes.

Wisconsin hunters killed 528 wolves in the three seasons a hunt was held in the state before the animal was placed back on the endangered species list.

In the following, press release from WDNR, the public is invited to submit comments.

Press Release from Wisconsin Natural Resources Board announces special meeting Jan. 22

Contact: Laurie Ross, NRB Board Liaison
Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov or 608-267-7420
DNR Office of Communications
DNRPress@wisconsin.gov

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will meet virtually on Friday for a Special Meeting to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021.

The virtual meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, originating from the Public Meeting Room G09, State Natural Resources Building (GEF 2), 101 S. Webster St., Madison, Wisconsin. The Board will act on items 1-2 as listed on the agenda.

The public can watch the Special Meeting via Zoom here. If the meeting is at capacity and you are unable to join, the Special Meeting will also be livestreamed here.

Although the public will not be allowed to attend the meeting in person due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the public is encouraged to participate. The deadline for remote public appearance requests and written comments is 8 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021.

Please submit written comments on the agenda item to discuss the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021 here. More information on how to testify before the Board is available here.

The NRB will also meet virtually for the upcoming board meeting at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021 to consider several proposed emergency rules and donations. The Board will act on items 1-4 and 7-8 as listed on the agenda. More information is available here.

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Rachel Tilseth

Rachel Tilseth iIn 2011 I went from tracking the wolf to advocating for them and found myself within an advocacy network that went against my values. I am tenacious by nature, and passionate about the grey wolves I got to know through tracking them. But I found myself within a system of wolf-advocacy that wasnt for me. I am am artist and writer first and foremost. Tilseth has been a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Volunteer Winter Wolf Tracker since the year 2000. Tilseth received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education in 1992 from UW-Stout, graduating with cum laude honors.

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