The film features Adrian Wydeven, Marvin DeFoe, Peter David, Michael Waasagiizhig Price, Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., Patrick Durkin, and Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace, including interviews with farmers, hunters, WDNR staff, and Ojibwe tribal members.
Meet the People we have added to the film interviews.
Patrick Durkin of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is an award-winning outdoor writer, newspaper columnist, and general outdoors reporter. He has been MeatEater’s wildlife research contributor since June 2018 and frequently writes for national archery and hunting magazines. Durkin also provides editing services for books and magazines and served as contributing editor/writer for the Archery Trade Association from September 2001 through January 2021.
In Patrick Durkin Outdoors‘s latest article regarding the DNR Secretary, “is hard-hitting with common sense and makes a point that:
“… failures of leadership and science-based decision-making, it’s no wonder the public and DNR staff lost faith in Cole.”
“Cole failed more publicly in February 2021 by sitting silent when Kazmierski suggested doubling the number of harvest tags for the state’s hastily run wolf hunt. Even though Kazmierski lacks any scientific training or practical fieldwork, neither Cole nor anyone from the NRB asked him to cite precedents before approving his tag allocation.”
“The DNR then offered Kazmierski’s 2,380 tags for sale online, and hunters and trappers bought 1,548 tags, or 13 times the nontribal quota of 119 wolves. In contrast, the DNR sold a total of 3,911 tags for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 wolf seasons, or 7.5 times the combined nontribal quota.
“Kazmierski insists the resulting 218-wolf harvest was “only” 8% above the overall 200-wolf quota. But Kaz ignores the DNR’s task was to cap the nontribal wolf kill at 119. Whether the actual harvest exceeded the quota by 8% or 82%, it didn’t match DNR standards from Wisconsin’s previous three wolf seasons. Hunters and trappers exceeded the 2014 quota, 150, by four (2.6%) wolves; the 2013 quota, 251, by six (2.4%) wolves; and the 2012 quota, 116, by one (0.86%) wolf. Combined, that’s 528 wolves from 2012 to 2014, or 11 (2.1%) over the nontribal quota.”
Updated 02/01/23 The following is from Durkin’s latest column Wisconsin’s New Wolf Plan Mirrors Others Here and Near
If Wisconsin somehow held a wolf season this fall, we’d have to kill about 625 wolves to reach that cap, given that recent estimates put the wolf population at 975. That won’t fly with most Wisconsinites not named Greg Kazmierski, a member of the state’s policy-setting Natural Resources Board. In case you’ve forgotten, Kazmierski pushed a 500-wolf quota when fantasizing about a fall 2021 season.It’s odd that Kazmierski and his enablers keep pushing such aggressive wolf quotas. Didn’t he read the warnings from “Dr. Deer,” James Kroll, the guy he hand-picked to be our deer czar a decade ago? On Page 42 of the 2012 Deer Trustee Report, Kroll offers this wise advice: “The goal should be to limit/decrease wolf-societal conflicts rather than a goal to sustain some specific number of wolves in Wisconsin.”Kroll underlined the next sentence for emphasis: “The initial wolf-population control program should be conservative … to reduce the probability of legal challenges and, if challenged, to reduce the probability that the challenge will be successful in stopping the control program.”
Meet Michael Waasegiizhig Price
Michael Waasegiizhig Price is the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Specialist at the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission headquartered in Odanah, WI. He is Anishinaabe and an enrolled member of Wikwemikong First Nations, Canada. His role as TEK Specialist involves integrating Anishinaabe language, cultural perspectives, and ceremony into research methods and resource management to make science more culturally relevant. Michael received his Master of Science in Forestry from the University of Montana and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. He also received his Certificate of Ojibwe Language Instruction from Bemidji State University.
Listen to the following interview with Michael starting at minute 52:40
We are gathering more interviews. We plan to film in the wolf range in the northern forest this winter. Many concerned citizens have donated to the film and have helped raise a substantial amount. We are incredibly grateful! Our fundraising efforts thus far have been significant, and the footage through these efforts produced a trailer. As we prepare for our next round of interviews, we look to the public for donations to make this happen.
We work through a nonprofit, a fiscal sponsor, http://www.FilmNorth.org allows donors to make tax-deductible donations. FilmNorth’s mission is to empower artists to tell their stories, launch and sustain successful careers, and advance The North as a leader in the national network of independent filmmakers. We achieve our mission by nurturing a vibrant, diverse community of film and media artists, providing education and resources at every stage of their careers, and celebrating their achievements.
Gray wolves recolonized parts of Wisconsin in the 1970s after being killed off in the state in the 1950s and grew to a population of over 1000 wolves by 2020. Unfortunately, this conservation success story has become very controversial in the last decade.
After federal delisting in 2012, the Wisconsin legislature mandated that wolf hunts would be required whenever gray wolves were off the ESA list.
The most recent delisting battle started in January 2021, leading to a court-ordered three-day controversial wolf hunt during the breeding season in February. It went over the allotted quota, angering many Wisconsinites.
Ojibwe bands in Red Cliff and Bad River have their own, Ma’iingan (Wolf) Relationship Plans. The state must work with the tribes on wolf management, including hunting seasons.
Six Ojibwe tribes sued and claimed the wolf hunt violated their treaty rights. A year after the controversial wolf hunt, a California judge ordered gray wolves in much of the lower 48 states back on the ESA on February 18, 2022. Though gray wolves have numerically recovered in Wisconsin, wolf management remains in limbo.