My comment to the NRB in regards to establishing a wolf in Wisconsin 2021

Submit your written comment before tomorrow morning to Laurie Ross, NRB Board Liaison
Laurie.Ross@wisconsin.gov or 608-267-7420
DNR Office of Communications
DNRPress@wisconsin.gov

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 following is my comment to the NRB

Dear Natural resources Board Members, Thank you for allowing me to comment at this special meeting of the Natural Resources Board in regard to discussing the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021.

First off, I would like to address that I’m not in favor of holding a wolf hunt this winter. Let’s not act in haste. I’m a volunteer, and have been since the year of 2000, as a Wisconsin DNR wolf tracker with experience, especially during this time. January is the prime breeding season for wolves. Holding a wolf hunt during this time would be disastrous for grey wolves and the wolf hunter’s dogs. Here’s why. During January I’ve followed wolf tracks and witnessed the entire wolf pack moving along the border of their territory.  As I tracked this wolf pack, following their tracks, every member of the pack was following right along with the alpha pair.  The Alpha pair was scent marking on the road, and about every tenth of a mile.  At the end of the road, I found a tiny snow-covered pine sapling stained with rust colored urine on top of it.  That rust colored urine indicated to me that the alpha female was in estrus. That’s the sign that reveals wolf prime breeding season is in full swing to a tracker.  All of these scent markings and scent scrapings from the alpha pair, took place at the border of their territory, and that indicated to me this was an aggressive act meant to declare wolf range.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what would happen if you threw wolf hunters into the mix running their dogs on wolves during wolf prime breeding. I’m against this, and I’m sure Wisconsinites, if given the facts about grey wolf prime breeding season, would not be in favor of a hunt at this time of the year either.

Respectfully, I would like to remind all board members of the obligation they have for honoring the public trust regarding the management of grey wolves.  That obligation includes an updated wolf management plan as well and is necessary and clearly an important step in the process of managing grey wolves.  This process of updating the plan would and should include all public input at every step of the process.  This is a necessary step in the wolf management process that should not be skipped because of a push to hastily re-establish a wolf hunt. 

I ask that the Natural Resources Board not only hold off on a wolf hunt at this time, to update the wolf management plan; but that they also request the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource to perform an updated Public Attitudes survey towards Wolves and wolf Management, the last one was in 2014, and this would be necessary in gaging public attitudes.

Again, thank you for allowing me to comment at this special meeting of the Natural Resources Board in regard to discussing the next steps to establish a wolf hunt in Wisconsin in 2021. I am not in favor of re-establishing a wolf hunt at this time for the reasons stated in my statement.

 Rachel Tilseth

Menomonie, WI 54751

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