Letter to the editor (LTE) writing campaign: the public needs to hear from you! 

Great Lakes wolves could be delisted anytime now and placed in the hands of state management.  Wisconsin legislature mandates in Act 169 that when wolves are not listed on either federal or state endangered lists that they must be hunted. (Wisconsin Act 169) Wisconsin is the only state that allows the inhumane act of  “wolf Hounding” and Quite literally, throws dogs to wolves. Michigan voters, said no to a wolf hunt, yet in a shocking reversal of democratic principles,  Gov. Snyder signs wolf hunt bill in spite of voter opposition.  In Minnesota wolves are on the threatened list, which means the state has more authority on management of any wolf depredations on livestock, but legislators still push for a wolf hunt. 

Wisconsin wolves are in jeopardy and need your help.  I’m asking every Wisconsin wolf advocate to take action for wolves by submitting letters to the editor.

 I’ve included;  why write a letter, tips on writing a letter, and several links to Wisconsin newspapers. 

Now get to work advocates….

Writing an Effective Letter to the Editor (LTE), Writing a letter to the editor of your local or regional newspaper is the best way to reach a large audience with your message. LTEs are printed on the editorial page.  The editorial page is one of the most read pages in the paper. Members of congress keep a close eye on media coverage, including LTEs, in their local papers so they can keep an eye out for issues of importance to their constituents. Letters that get published helps reach both a wide public audience and your elected officials.  Even if your letter is not published, it is important for educating and persuading editors. The more letters they receive on a given topic, the more likely they are to dedicate more time in their newspaper to that issue, both on the editorial page and in news articles. It clearly expresses the issue’s importance to the community. 

The following tips are from: Union of Concerned Scientists

Keep your letter short, focused, and interesting. In general, letters should be under 200 words, 150 or less is best; stay focused on one (or, at the most, two) main point(s); and get to the main point in the first two sentences. If possible include interesting facts, relevant personal experience, and any local connections to the issue. If you letter is longer than 200 words, it will likely be edited or not printed. 

Write the letter in your own words. Editors want letters in their papers to be original and from a reader. Be sure that you take the time to write the letter in your own words. 

Refute, advocate, and make a call to action. Most letters to the editor follow a standard format. Open your letter by refuting the claim made in the original story the paper ran. Then use the next few sentences to back up your claims and advocate for your position. Try to focus on the positive. For example: According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, investments in renewable energy would bring over $200 million to our state and create 36,000 jobs by 2020. Then wrap your letter up by explaining what you think needs to happen now, make your call to action. 

Include your contact information. Be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number; the paper will contact you before printing your letter. 

 

-Submit your letter to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The Journal Sentinel welcomes readers’ letters. Timely, well-written, provocative opinions on topics of interest in Milwaukee and Wisconsin are given first preference. All letters are subject to editing. The form below is for submission to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial department for possible publication. Letters selected for publication in the newspaper will also be posted on JSOnline.com.
Guidelines
Generally, we limit letters to 200 words. Name, street address and daytime phone are required. We cannot acknowledge receipt of submissions. We don’t publish poetry, anonymous or open letters.  Each writer is limited to one published letter every two months. Write: Letters to the editor, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 

P.O. Box 371, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0371

Fax: (414)-223-5444

E-mail: jsedit@journalsentinel.com

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel click HERE to submit a letter to the editor

-Submit your letter to the editor to the Wisconsin State Journal: click madison.com to submit

-Submit your letter to the editor to the La Crosse Tribune Click HERE for the online form

The Tribune encourages letters to the editor on current issues. Please limit letters to 250 words or fewer. We reserve the right to edit all letters and require that all letters include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification purposes. Letter writers will be limited to no more than one letter a month. Please do not send poetry, items taken from other publications or from the Internet. Send letters to: Letters to the editor, La Crosse Tribune, 401 N. Third St. La Crosse WI 54601 or e-mail letters@lacrossetribune.com. Click here to use our online form.

-The Green Bay Press-Gazette welcomes letters to the editor of 250 or fewer words. You can send us your letter online by filling out the information below. Rules for Submission:

Letters must include your first and last name, complete address, and daytime phone number. Only your name and community will be published. Anonymous contributions, pseudonyms and first initials are not allowed. Contributors whose identities cannot be verified to our reasonable satisfaction may be required to submit further identification or their contributions will be withheld from publication. Contributors are limited to one published letter per month. Letters must be no longer than 250 words. They will be edited if necessary for clarity or brevity. Include sources for facts and figures included in your letter, either in the text of your letter or as a note at the bottom for our reference. Unless otherwise noted, all material must be original to the author. Mass-mailing letters will not be accepted. Guest columns must be no longer than 600 words and will be held to a higher standard of reader interest than letters and calls. It’s recommended to contact us before submitting a guest column. Letters to the editor may be published or distributed in print, electronic or other forms. Submit letters via:

♦ E-mail at forum@greenbaypressgazette.com
♦ Fax at (920) 431-8379
♦ Regular mail at Green Bay Press-Gazette, Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 23430, Green Bay WI, 54305-3430
♦ Or drop them off at the Press-Gazette office at 435 E. Walnut St., Green Bay. Lobby hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-Submit your letter to the Leader-Telegram Click HERE

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Learning How to Coexist with Wolves by Meeting the Needs of the Local People

People share the northern Wisconsin forests with wolves. ​These folks​view the wolf from several perspectives:​​​ some fear him, others love him, ​and still ​​there are those who outright ​hate him.  ​​Regardless of opinion, the wolf is the most talked about wild animal in Wisconsin. ​So how do we all live in these woods with such a well-known creature? ​

Dr. Jane Goodall believed in order to save Chimpanzees local people’s needs must be addressed; she said: ​”People living in the forests surrounding critical chimpanzee habitat are among the poorest on the planet. Consequently, it is short-sighted to develop solutions for chimps without addressing the needs of local people. Effective programs must provide win-win solutions for both chimps and people. Thankfully, conserving forests benefits both local people as well as chimps and other fauna (Source:​ Lessons Learned from Dr. Jane Goodall, by Nancy Merrick).

Dr. Jane Goodall

​We can apply these same words to our situation by meeting the needs of our own locals.​ Firstly, these needs can be economic. If local communities rely heavily on hunting to meet their financial needs, then we need to offer alternatives. Wolf-ecotourism could be that alternative. Such an endeavor would offer job opportunities to many. But how does that affect wild wolves?  People traipsing all over wolf habitat in the hope of viewing the elusive wild wolf will likely only disturb them. Perhaps then, we should arrange for guided tours that are allowed to go only in certain areas.

   

Secondly, another way to meet the needs of the local people would be in providing wolf education and awareness.  Living with Wolves and National Geographic developed a Grey wolf Educator’s Guide for schools.  This guide is about: “The purpose of this guide is to provide educators of students from kindergarten to high school with activities that will enrich students’ understanding about the gray wolf of North America. The activities are intended to dispel common myths and prejudices that are held about these animals and to encourage youth to get involved in conservation efforts.” (Source: Grey Wolf Educator Guide, by Living with Wolves and National Geographic.) These guides would benefit local people and wolves.  People would have a new perspective about how beneficial wolves are for ecosystems.

Living with Wolves

Lastly, helping local people live alongside a large carnivore such as the wolf requires a way to mitigate conflicts. Wisconsin Department of Natural resources has a Wildlife Damage Specialist, Brad Koele.   Click here to watch WODCW’s video interview with Koele The WDNR Wildlife Damage program could be expanded to add citizen liaisons as volunteers. Volunteers would attend local county board meetings. The volunteers would take any wolf related concerns back to the WDNR Wildlife Damage specialist.  A volunteer wolf liaison program would give local people a voice in wolf management.

Solving the needs of the local people is a necessary step to resolving conflicts that stand in the way of coexisting with wolves.