Wolf Summit ll is a redundant effort of lurid sensationalism

Wisconsin State Senator Tom Tiffany and Representative Adam Jarchow organized a Great Lakes Wolf Summit  to lobby for the delisting of wolves from protections under the Endangered Species Act last fall in an effort to return them to state management. 

Last Fall’s Great Lakes Wolf Summit was a half-baked apple pie. This Wolf Summit was missing vital scientific input. Even Patrick Durkin, a freelance outdoor writer stated the obvious,  in an article in The Green Bay Gazette,  “For those reasons and more, expect the Tiffany-Jarchow wolf summit to simply restate best guesses and half-baked assumptions. But shouting them more loudly won’t make them true.”

A second Wolf Summit is being organzied by Wisconsin Wolf Facts.  The summit takes place from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Sugar Camp Town Hall on April 8th. There is an entry charge of $15.00, which includes coffee and lunch.  Laurie Groskopf, spokesperson for the group Wisconsin Wolf Facts, “says there’s a possiblity that Congress will move this year to delist wolves again, putting them back into the state’s hands along with an appeal in the court system.” 

There are currently two bills in congress that call to delist the wolf in four states, S. 164 (Senate) introduced on 01/17/2017 by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) and H.R. 424 (House of Representatives) introduced on 01/10/2017 by Representative Collin C. Peterson (D-MN)

Wolves were returned to the safe-keeping of the endangered species list on December 19, 2014 in a court ruling that stated; “At times, a court must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough,” Howell wrote in the decision. “This case is one of those times.”

Wisconsin allowed the barbaric use of wolf hounding during two (2013-2014) of its trophy hunts on wolves. It’s no wonder that judge Howell ordered wolves placed back on the ESL considering Wisconsin quite literally throws dogs to wolves.

One of the organizers of Wolf Summit ll, Laurie Groskopf sits on the Wisconsin DNR Wolf Advisory Committee defined in the WI DNR website as a diverse group representing agency, non-agency, tribal and stakeholder interests, meets to propose wolf quota recommendations. Department leadership considers proposed quotas in developing department recommendations for Natural Resources Board approval.

The following is a little history of just how slanted the WDNR’s Wolf Advisory Committee has been: DNR secretary confirms That Wolf Hunt Opponents Were Removed From Advisory Committee. Cathy Stepp Says Staunch Hunting Opponents Weren’t Being Productive Members Of Advisory Body Thursday, June 26, 2014, By Chuck Quirmbach. Stepp confirmed what her critics have alleged: that wolf hunting opponents were by and large kicked off the committee.

Several DNR staff are on the recently created Wolf Advisory Committee, as are representatives of several pro-hunting groups. A smaller number of wolf hunting skeptics also remain on the committee, including a representative of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  Source

At the first Great Lakes Wolf Summit held last September 2016, “A few wolves are OK,” said Don Peay, founder of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife and a speaker at the summit. “They’re part of the system.” Peay and most others at the summit wanted to manage the wolf population by killing some off. Roughly 4,000 wolves roam the Great Lakes region.

Wolf Summit ll will have less speakers than the first summit. 

Groskopf said, “The other summit had more speakers, this summit has less speakers so each has more time. So I think there will be more give-and-take at this summit, so I think it’s a good thing to have more participation.” Source  Among the topics will be depredation control, counting wolves, state management, and wolf impacts among other topics. A study completed by the DNR last year found that Wisconsin’s wolf population is at its highest level in recorded history.

Wolf Summit ll is a redundant effort of lurid sensationalism because it’s political backers use carefully crafted propaganda to make the wolf look bad. Wolf Summit ll is playing on fear, in order to return wolves back over to state management; for the sole purpose of holding a trophy wolf hunt.

Wolf Summit ll doesn’t intend to educate Wisconsin residents about how to live with wolves. It intends to push for a state managed wolf hunt; because they believe wolves are decimating the deer herds, destroying the livelihoods of livestock owners and killing a record number of hound hunting dogs. 

But the facts prove otherwise.

Facts such as as;  a lack of bear hunting regulations caused the increase of wolf depredations on hunting dogs, the largest change in buck harvest occurred in the Northern Forest Zone (30 percent increase from 2015) and 52 livestock depredations out of 3.50 million head, proves; there’s no-big-bad-wolf here. 

Wolf Summit ll backers believe 866 wolves are too many, and want a population cap of 350 wolves; that means a total of 516 wolves will be killed off in a state managed trophy hunt. 

That is; if Wisconsin citizens buy into Wolf Summit ll’s redundant efforts of lurid sensationalism. 


Foxlights a new tool for non lethal management of wolves in Wisconsin

Source: USDA Experiments With New Tool To Deter Wolves Foxlights Latest Method To Keep Wolves Away From Livestock Tuesday, June 21, 2016, 5:30pm By Danielle Kaeding 

Wildlife officials in Wisconsin are experimenting with a new tool called Foxlights to help farmers and producers keep wolves away from livestock.
They were invented by an Australian sheep farmer to keep away foxes. Rachel Tilseth is founder of the advocacy website Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin and a distributor of the lights. Tilseth sold 25 to the U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS-Wildlife Services in northern Wisconsin and said they deter wolves from coming near livestock.
“It can be seen from a mile away,” she explained. “It operates with a six volt battery giving up to 12 months of nonstop protection. A light sensor automatically turns it on when it’s at dusk and turns it off during the day.”
Tilseth said the lights are relatively inexpensive at $85 on up. Wisconsin Wildlife Services installed the lights recently on a Douglas County farm experiencing wolf problems. David Ruid, supervisory wildlife biologist with Wildlife Services, said he’s optimistic about their effectiveness, but cautions that lights haven’t always kept wolves away from livestock.

“Some of these wolf packs that are living in human fragmented environments, they’re exposed to a tremendous amount of light pollution in their environment to begin with,” he said.
Ruid added that cost may also be a factor for producers interested in nonlethal methods to deter wolves.
“When you start talking about the spatial area of some of these farms that we’re trying to protect, which are hundreds of acres and miles of fence line – to have enough of these on hand is financially challenging,” he said.
Individual farmers experiencing wolf problems can receive the equipment from the department on a short-term loan.
Tilseth said the lights are just one of the nonlethal method farmers can use to coexist with wolves, adding that a wolf hunt is not the answer to conflicts between producers and wolves.

Wisconsin ended its wolf hunt after a federal judge ruled in December 2014 to place the gray wolf back on the Endangered Species List in the western Great Lakes region. Since then, wildlife managers have not been able to kill problem wolves except in extreme cases. The number of Wisconsin farms affected by wolf depredations has grown since then from 22 in 2014 to 32 last year, according to Ruid. Tilseth said the number of farms affected is small when compared to the number of operations within the state.
Some congressional lawmakers, and state and federal agencies would like the gray wolf removed from the endangered species list, saying their numbers have more than recovered since the wolf’s decline. People opposed to delisting wolves say they play a significant role in the balance of the ecosystem, tribal culture and haven’t recovered to their historic range.