Tag Archives: wolf delisting

Wolf Hounding Fact Sheet: Wisconsin, quite literally, throws dogs to wolves

The Wisconsin legislature sanctioned “Wolf Hounding ” with 2011 Wisconsin Act 169 that allows the use of dogs to track and trail wolves. 2011 Wisconsin Act 169

The following is a wolf hounding fact sheet that was put together in 2013 by several professionals that were in apposition to Wisconsin’s law, Act 169, that allowed the use of dogs in Wisconsin’s wolf hunt. Dogs were used to track and trail wolves in 2013 & 2014. Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin was involved in putting these fact sheets together. There are plans to re-establish a wolf hunt for November 2021 now that gray wolves are officially delisted, and Wisconsin is the only state that allows the “Barbaric” use of dogs in the wolf hunt. TAKE ACTION: contact your Wisconsin legislature contact and make it clear you do not sanction Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin!

1. Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”Hound hunters traditionally train their dogs to focus on specific prey by releasing their dogs to surround, attack and terrorize a prey animal (e.g. a bear cub or fox) for hours on end (up to 16 hours/day) enclosed in a small, open barrel or “roll cage.” At this point it remains disturbingly unclear as to how hound hunters will train their dogs to pursue wolves instead of other animals—will it be by capturing wolves and allowing their dogs to attack them in barrels and pens? How isn’t this worse than illegal dog fighting?

 “There has never been a more important time for the people of Wisconsin to show they are not going to give in to a small group of people that want to torture animals for fun under the guise of “sport.”  ~Rachel Tilseth

2. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, charged with overseeing the wolf hunt, has no rules in place that require hound handlers to report dogs injured or killed in the pursuit of wolves during a hunt. In fact, there is no monitoring or certification program whatsoever in place for the use of dogs in the wolf hunt; thus the state has little ability to hold hound hunters accountable for training or hunting violations or to prevent deadly and inhumane wolf-dog confrontations (e.g., hunters allowing dogs to overtake and kill rifle-shot wolves). These circumstances explain why Wisconsin stands alone: using dogs to hunt wolves is no better than state-sponsored dog fighting.

In 2013 & 2014 Wisconsin sanctioned the use of dogs to hunt wolves. 

3. Hound handlers are equipped with high tech radio telemetry devices that allow them to track GPS-collared hunting dogs from long distances. They are often not able to catch up to hounds that have a wolf at bay to prevent deadly fights between dogs and wolves. As proof of this, to date, Wisconsin has paid nearly $500,000 to “reimburse” hound-hunters for hunting dogs injured or killed by wolves. See link WDNR Dog depredations by wolves

Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”

4. According to DNR regulations, hound handlers are only allowed to use up to six dogs at a time to trail wolves. But handlers often replace tired dogs with fresh ones and younger dogs. It is common for a handler to be unable to retrieve the tired dogs, and end up with up well over 6 dogs chasing one wolf, potentially twice or even three times as many. There is no monitoring system in place to ensure that only 6 dogs pursue wolves.

*Wolf hunters are not reimbursed when wolves kill dog/dogs while in pursuit of wolves, but are when in pursuit of bear.  

Join Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin’s campaign to end Wolf Hounding 

TAKE ACTION: contact your Wisconsin Legislator here and make it clear you do not sanction Wolf Hounding in Wisconsin!

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. ~Aristotle

Wisconsin is the only state that allows hunters to use dogs to track and trail wolves.

Grey Wolf Delisting Raises Concerns About Wisconsin’s Management Process

Photograph credit EarthJustice

I’ve been involved in Wisconsin’s Wolf Recovery plan since the year 2000. The concern I have with the state management of its gray wolf is the legislative mandated wolf hunt. Wisconsin law, Act 169 states: if the wolf is not listed on the federal or Wisconsin endangered list, the department shall allow the hunting and trapping of wolves. A legislative mandated hunt of a species just off the ESL goes far beyond reason and usurps the Democratic process. Wolves should be returned back into the hands of the Department of Natural Resources to be managed as they were for almost 40 years allowing for public input at every level of the management process. —Rachel Tilseth

The following is from Wisconsin Public Television produce October 25, 2010. Since then, Rob Stafsholt has become a representative, and now a senator for Wisconsin’s 10th district and is pushing for a wolf hunt. He is on a mission to bypass public input and go straight to a wolf hunt. In a statement Stafsholt said: “This designation has returned management to the state. Under state statutes, the DNR is required to implement a harvest season, unless preempted by federal law. Wisconsin law establishes a wolf hunting season once federal protections are removed to begin on the first Saturday in November, and conclude on February 28th.

Yet there are so many that want science to be the deciding factor in deciding how Wisconsin’s grey wolf is managed, and not jumping to a wolf hunt.

The following is from a recent WPR article. Peter David and Sarah Wilkins, both biologists, make very sound scientific points regarding wolf management that I strongly agree with.

Peter David, wildlife biologist for the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, said the rule is disappointing to tribes. David said Wisconsin tribes have a deep cultural connection to wolves, which play a pivotal role in a healthy ecosystem in the northern forests.

“They’re very interested in protecting wolves and gaining the maximum amount of benefits that wolves provide,” said David. “We know that was fairly different than the management goals of the state the last time wolves were de-listed.”

David said tribes are odds with state law that requires a wolf hunt when the animals aren’t under federal protection.

Conservation group Wisconsin’s Green Fire said it supports returning wolf management to states and tribes because the recovery of wolves in Wisconsin and the surrounding region meet the standards set under the Endangered Species Act. But the group is urging the DNR to update its 1999 wolf management plan, according to Sarah Wilkins, science director with Wisconsin’s Green Fire.

“The 1999 plan, which is the one that’s in place right now is outdated, and it’s not using the most current and up-to-date information around wolf biology and wolf science,” said Wilkins.

The agency’s 1999 wolf management plan set a goal of 350 wolves for the state, but that figure was based on a projected population of 500 wolves across Wisconsin.

The conservation group also urged the agency to work with a science and technical advisory committee along with a committee of diverse stakeholders in developing a plan, as well as Wisconsin tribes.

“We shouldn’t be moving forward and jumping into a hunt right now until we have that conservation plan in place,” said Wilkins.

If the hunt is reinstated, the group said the agency should maintain the wolf population within numbers seen over the last several years in the range of 866 to 1,034 wolves. Wilkins said they’re also recommending changes to state law that would ensure decisions regarding wolf management and the wolf hunt would reside with the agency.


The following is from Lindsey Botts, writer for this blog and submitted excellent points in a recent Op Ed that appeared in The Wisconsin State Journal,

“Wolves are doing better in Wisconsin but still face threats”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently reported a 13% increase in the number of wolves in the state over last year, bringing the estimated total to just over 1,000.

The annual count, from April 2019 to April 2020, was primarily conducted over the winter when tracking was easier because of snow. But summer howl surveys, territory mapping, radio collars and observation reports also are used to estimate populations.

New this year is a probability average the DNR calculates based on repeated detections, which include wolf sightings, markings of wolves such as scat and paw prints, and photos. Out of 313 wolf observations by staff and volunteers, about a third were verified. And out of 328 photo sequences, a little more than half were verified. The DNR includes both verified and probable data to come up with an average.

What the new technique lacks in preciseness it makes up for in ease and affordability. That may be great for the DNR, but it might not play out well for wolves. In states such as Idaho and Montana where this model is used, large estimates and fuzzy data are used to set aggressive hunting quotas that wipe out entire packs.

The DNR will use these numbers to set its own hunting limits once federal protections are removed. And anti-wolf legislators will use them to speed delisting from the federal Endangered Species Act, turning wolf management over to the states.

In fact, U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, is already doing just that. In theory, state management is good. But in practice, it can be disastrous. In the three winters that wolves were delisted in Wisconsin from 2012 to 2014, more than 600 wolves were killed. In short, delisting is only appropriate if the state can resist the push to kill half its population.

Sadly, state management and hunting are so entangled in Wisconsin that our state mandates a wolf hunt once federal protections are removed.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Yes, livestock producers should be able to protect their property by killing animals that threaten their cattle, but aimless killing is cruel and ineffective as a management tool.

Research by Adrian Treves, a professor of Environmental Studies at UW-Madison and founder of the Carnivore Coexistence Lab, has highlighted that indiscriminate killing can actually be counterintuitive. By killing alpha and beta wolves that are experienced hunters, young wolves are left to fend for themselves, which often means they turn to easy prey such as livestock.

And that’s when livestock producers get scared. But statistically, cattle are more likely to die from the weather and disease than from a wolf attack. More than 3 million cattle are in Wisconsin, and less than 0.05% die because of wolves.

While counting wolves is key to shaping policy and understanding wolf dynamics, the data is often used in nefarious ways to undermine wolf recovery under the guise of management, a term that’s hard to decouple from hunting and trapping.

Yet we don’t need to kill wolves for any biological reasons. Wolves don’t attack people in Wisconsin, and controlled hunts serve no purpose other than to satisfy human bloodlust. Many studies, including one by Arian Wallach from Charles Darwin University, have shown that predators are capable of self-regulation. Habitat, available food and the environment all factor into population density.

Back in the ‘90s, biologists thought we’d never have more than a few hundred wolves in the state, which is why the current population goal is 350. But new data suggests this was woefully underestimated. Based on information from last year’s wolf count, we know the wolf population has stabilized and that the natural population is probably closer to what we have now, around 1,000.

The increase in wolves is worth celebrating for sure, but it’s what we do with those numbers that will really determine if wolf recovery is a success. If the numbers are used to justify killing lots of wolves, this isn’t a win, it’s a failure.

Once federal protections are removed, which will likely happen before the end of the year, the state will have to develop a new wolf plan. Wisconsinites need to do two things to make sure the latest wolf count lives up to the conservation success it’s touted as being.

First, we should push the DNR to include updated data in the new wolf management plan. This means contacting the DNR and asking them to update the population goal to reflect the current numbers. Second, we must demand that state legislators use accurate science when making laws that concern wildlife. This means reaching out to your local representatives and urging them to end the mandatory wolf hunt.

Delisting is appropriate when populations are healthy. Killing wolves based on numbers is not. It’s time we demand that the DNR and our state legislators understand that.


This week the Trump Administration announced plans to remove endangered gray wolf protections by end of the year.

Photograph credit: photographer David Yarrow “Wolf-in-Chicago” theme.

This has been anticipated by several organizations, including Wisconsin’s Green Fire , that held a webinar last week. The webinar program featured a trio of expert panelists envisioning a future for wolves in Wisconsin. Panelists: Adrian Wydeven, WGF Wildlife Co-Chair; Jodi Habush Sinykin, Midwest Environmental Advocates; Peter David, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission, “Opportunities for Collaboration: A Shared Vision for Wolves in Wisconsin by Wisconsin’s Green Fire http://www.wisconsingreenfire.org

Don’t panic jet yet, instead get educated; Because there are organizations Such as Wisconsin’s Green Fire , that are working to protect Wisconsin’s wild gray wolf and bring science & citizen input back into wolf management.

There is a law on the books from the Walker Administration 2011 Act 169 that mandates a hunt on gray wolves when they are not listed.

Don’t despair just yet, because this isn’t the Walker Administration anymore where; Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves known as wolf-hounding. There’s a new administration now. Under the Evers’ administration the WDNR values science & citizen input. Listen to Wisconsin’s Green Fire webinar to find out more.

There are ways to circumvent Act 169 and bring back transparency & citizen input in Wisconsin’s wolf management.

There’s work to be done! As with dirty politics there’s always extremists, fringe hunters and politicians at the ready, causing misinformation for their personal gain. Listen to scientific experts! We will be presenting the facts through our People & Wolves Talk Show. Listen & join the conversation.

Wisconsin law, Act 169 states: if the wolf is not listed on the federal or Wisconsin endangered list, the department shall allow the hunting and trapping of wolves…

Photograph of a Wisconsin gray wolf. Credit Snapshot Wisconsin.

It’s very evident that if something isn’t done to change the law gray wolves in Wisconsin will be hunted. The United States Fish & Wildlife Service, USFWS will soon be making a decision whether or not to delist wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota & Michigan. More information about proposed delisting can be found on The Federal Registry.

History of gray wolves in Wisconsin

The Gray wolf was extirpated from Wisconsin’s forests by the 1950s. Then, Gray wolves began entering Wisconsin through Minnesota, and by the late 1970s Gray wolves were establishing home territories in Wisconsin. The newly created Wisconsin Wolf Recovery Program began monitoring packs, and soon wolves were establishing territories throughout Wisconsin’s northern & central forests. The most recent wolf population is an estimated 944 gray wolves are living in Wisconsin according to the over the winter wolf count July 2019 WDNR.

Wisconsin’s Gray wolf population has begun to show signs of stabilizing. State officials say the state’s latest wolf count is further evidence that Wisconsin’s wolf population might be stabilizing. Volunteer trackers reported between 914 and 978 wolves from April 2018 to April 2019, according to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Scott Walter, DNR large carnivore specialist, said that’s about a 1 percent increase from the last monitoring period. “The last three winter track surveys suggested fairly similar numbers of wolves and that follows really two decades of sustained population growth,” said Walter. “It looks like numbers are leveling off.” Source Wisconsin Public Radio

In 2011 just as gray wolves were about to be delisted the Wisconsin state legislature rushed to create a law. Wisconsin Act 169, is a law that mandates a hunt when wolves are NOT listed on the Endangered Species List.

As the USFWS begins the process of delisting, the question at hand is: will Wisconsin throw ‘dogs to the wolves again like they did in 2013 & 2014? Wisconsin Act 169, a law, allowed for hunters to use dogs to track & trail wolves. Beginning in 2012 there was very little public input in how Wisconsin wolf hunts were run. This lack of public input was due to a hunter-stacked Wolf Advisory Committee (WAC). A committee that was in charge of overseeing how the hunts were managed, and the members were appointed by then Secretary of the WDNR Cathy Stepp.

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.  WPR reporter Chuck Quirmbach June 2014 

At a WI DNR meeting secretary Cathy Stepp admitted, “When we’re charged to manage and to implement a hunt, coming in and telling us, ‘Don’t hunt wolves,’ is not a productive way to run a committee, frankly,” said Stepp. “That’s just the candid way to lay it out. We had to have people who were willing to work with us in partnership, and be willing to help us and advise us along the way in implementing state law.” Source WPR June 2014

WDNR’s Wolf Advisory Committee met once a month to recommend how wolf management in Wisconsin should be done. Here is a list of Cathy Stepp’s hand Picked WAC, that she thinks better suited to, “…people who were willing to work with us in partnership…”:United States Fish & Wildlife Service(USFWS), United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services(USDA WS), Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission(GLIFWC), Wisconsin County Forest Association(WCFA), Wisconsin Conservation Congress(WCC), Safari Club International(SCI), Timber Wolf Alliance(TWA), Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association(WBHA), Wisconsin Bowhunters Association(WBA), Wisconsin Cattlemans Association(WCA), Wisconsin Trappers Association(WTA), Wisconsin Wildlife Federation(WWF) and 10 WDNR biologists. WODCW blog

One of Secretary Stepp’s hand picked WDNR Wolf Advisory Committee Members is Wisconsin Cattlemans Association(WCA) Earl Stahl. Stahl is for delisting wolves and holding a wolf hunt. 

On 12/26/16 Stahl made his stand clear in a Opinion Editorial for the Wisconsin State Farmer “Wisconsin agreed to the original delisting of wolves with the understanding that the population would be capped at 100. The delisting allowed wolves to migrate from Minnesota and the U.P. in spite of the fact that the Wisconsin DNR documented wolf packs in the state in the 1960s and late 1970s.” Earl Stahl 

Seems clear to me that this DNR Wisconsin Wolf Advisory Committee member, Earl Stahl, thinks wolves are a problem and they only way to manage them is with a wolf hunt. This is how then DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, appointed by the Walker Administration, managed an endangered species. There was no transparency in Secretary Stepp’s DNR Wolf management process. Many Wisconsinites disapproved of Stepp’s management of the wolf hunts.

The barbaric act of Wolf-Hounding is legal in Wisconsin and was sanctioned in 2011 by the legislature. Wisconsin Act 169, is a law that mandates a hunt must be held when wolves are NOT listed on the Endangered Species List.

Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves. The barbaric act of Wolf-Hounding is legal in Wisconsin and is sanctioned when wolves are NOT listed on the Endangered Species List. In 2011 Wisconsin State Legislators backed by Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, rushed to create a law, Wisconsin Act 169, that mandated a wolf hunt just as Gray wolves were about to be delisted. Wisconsin law Act 169 ordered the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to oversee a wolf hunt. In 2013 the brutal act of “wolf Hounding” began in Wisconsin. On December 06, 2013 the first two wolves were killed by the use of dogs reported By Chuck Quirmbach of Wisconsin Public Radio. In 2013 & 2014 wolf hunters used dogs to track and trail wolves until a federal judge ordered them back under federal protection.

About the photograph: This young Wisconsin Gray wolf lost his life to hound hunters in the last sanctioned wolf hunt to use dogs in 2014. On December 19, 2014 a Federal judge ordered gray wolves in the Great Lakes returned to the protection of the Endangered Species List. A little too late for this young Gray wolf being proudly displayed as a trophy for this Wisconsin hound hunter.

The following is from the Wisconsin DNR wolf hunting reports 2014-2015: Wisconsin wolf hunters and trappers harvested 154 wolves during the 2014-15 season. This was a 60% decrease from the 2013-14 harvest of 257 wolves. The 2014-15 harvest was comprised of 87 males and 67 females. Wisconsin requires state-licensed hunters and trappers to obtain a wolf permit to harvest a wolf. Permits are issued through a 2 stage process. The first 50% of permits are issued through a random lottery in which all applicants are entered. The second 50% of permits are issued based upon the cumulative preference points of applicants which give unsuccessful applicants from prior years a greater chance to obtain a permit. Each permit allows the harvest of one wolf by any legal method. Legal methods include trapping with foothold traps and cable restraints, hunting with the use of electronic calls, bait and the aid of dogs.

On December 19, 2014 a Federal judge ordered gray wolves in the Great Lakes returned to the protection of the Endangered Species List.

Gray wolf at Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin.
Photo by USFWS

In conclusion, if USF&WS delists the Gray wolf in the Great Lakes Region, Wisconsin citizens must push for greater transparency in a wolf management plan, that allows for citizens input at every step in the decision making process; The plan must protect the health of the Gray wolf population, account for pack dynamics, include proactive measures to mitigate wolf livestock conflicts and to educate the public on how to live alongside gray wolves. A trophy hunt on gray wolves is about power not Conservation and has proven to be detrimental to wolf management. The Gray wolf is part of Wisconsin’s wild legacy.

At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst. ~Aristotle

*Wolf hunters are not reimbursed for dogs killed by wolves during a wolf hunt. But bear hunters are reimbursed when their dogs are killed while in pursuit of bear.

House Passes H.R. 6784 Requiring the Secretary of the Interior to Reissue Removal of Gray Wolf from ESL in the Lower 48 States…

There’s more than one side to a coin. One side of the coin demonstrates the pro side for preserving the Endangered Species Act; While the other side pushes to role back progress made in preserving our wildlife & wild lands. But if you pick up that same coin, and begin rubbing your fingers along all the sides; You become acutely aware of a third side to the coin with a new edge to it. It’s called checks and balances that remind us what democracy is all about. And the Endangered Species Act is the “gatekeeper” that ensures the preservation of our wildlife & the habitat they depend on.

The War on Wolves Continued this week in Congress. The House of Representatives, passed a bill, H.R.6784 – Manage our Wolves Act calling for Gray wolf delisting in the lower 48 states and prevents any judicial review of this bad legislative decision. The bill even includes the delisting of the Mexican Gray wolf as well. This bill is a desperate attempt to push through rotten legislation at the zero hour before Democrats take over the house. I use the term “rotten” to describe this legislation because it undermines decades of environmental progress starting with the Endangered Species Act itself. H.R. 6784 is a bill backed by big-monied special interests because they want free and easy access to the land.

The Endangered Species Act  (ESA) of 1973 is a key legislation for both domestic and international conservation. The act aims to provide a framework to conserve and protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats.  “And their Habitats” part is what extractive industries hate. They hate it because it’s what prevents them from gaining free and easy access to wild lands. In other words, the ESA is the “gatekeeper” that ensures the preservation of our wildlife & the habitat they depend on.

This “rotten” House Bill will head to the Senate now. It’s hard to believe that any senator will pass a bill that calls for delisting gray wolves on such a grand scale let alone removes any judicial review of the misguided decision. This H.R. 6784 bill is a far reaching piece of legislation that undermines the Endangered Species Act. What will happen next in a senate version remains to be seen.

As of May 10, 2016, the act listed 1,367 species of animals and 901 species of plants as endangered or threatened.

It’s vital that Americans throw their full support behind preserving the ESA because if these factions get their way by delisting gray wolves throughout the lower 48 states, it’s only the beginning of the end. It’s only the beginning of the end for our Wildlife that are already at the brink of extinction & destruction through habitat loss and climate change.

The Bald Eagle was a symbol for ESA and you could even say was the “spearhead” that brought us the ESA in the 1970s. I believe that the gray wolf is now that spearhead in today’s fight for preservation of wildlife & wilderness. The Gray wolf stands between extractive industrial special interests & Preserving the Endangered Species Act. The gray wolf has been a scapegoat of Big Ag for centuries ever since the development of expensive cattle breeds. The Gray wolf was a threat to these fat cows, and a bounty was placed on their heads. Today the gray wolf in the lower 48 states occupies less than 2% of their historic range. I ask the question when is enough, enough? The recent action in the House of Representatives proves our politicians are not for the people. They are about themselves and as corrupt as ever. Even president Richard Nixon, that resigned or face prosecution for the Watergate break in, was for preserving our endangered & threatened wildlife. He had more integrity it seems than the political parties in power now.

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 was created to protect animals and plants that were in danger of becoming extinct. “Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed,” said President Richard Nixon while signing the act on December 28, 1973.

Gray wolves have evolved as nature’s best tool for keeping our ecosystems healthy. A gray wolf can detect disease in White-tailed deer because they have such a powerful olfactory sense. According to Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources Wolf Progress Report Winter 2017-2018:

White-tailed deer density estimates increased 2% statewide from the previous year estimate (Stenglein, 2018). In wolf management units 1, 2, and 5, considered to be primary wolf range and containing 80% of the minimum winter wolf count, deer density estimates increased 19% compared to 2016. 

Statewide continuous wolf pack range was estimated to be 23,687 mi2 in northern and central forested regions of Wisconsin. Using the 2018 minimum population count of 905-944 wolves, wolf density is estimated to be 1 wolf per 25.1 to 26.2 mi2 of contiguous wolf range, calculated by dividing contiguous wolf range by the minimum population count range according to the report.

Yet, Representative Duffy (R-WI) who is behind this “rotten” legislation that passed the House proves he has no interest in his own state’s scientific data.

It’s essential that we throw our support behind stopping this “rotten” legislative attempt at delisting gray wolves throughout the lower 48 states, that is now headed for the senate. There’s more than one side to a coin. One side of the coin demonstrates the pro side for preserving the Endangered Species Act; While the other side pushes to role back progress made in preserving our wildlife & wild lands. But if you pick up that same coin, and begin rubbing your fingers along all the sides; You become acutely aware of a third side to coin with a new edge to it. It’s called checks and balances that remind us what democracy is all about. And the Endangered Species Act is the “gatekeeper” that ensures the preservation of our wildlife & the habitat they depend on.

Take action contact your senator

By E-mail

All questions and comments regarding public policy issues, legislation, or requests for personal assistance should be directed to the Senators from your State. Some Senators have e-mail addresses while others post comment forms on their web sites. When sending e-mail to your Senator, please include your return postal mailing address. Please be aware that as a matter of professional courtesy, many Senators will acknowledge, but not respond to, a message from another Senator’s constituent.

By Postal Mail

You can direct postal correspondence to your Senator or to other U.S.Senate offices at the following address: 

For correspondence to U.S. Senators: 

Office of Senator (Name)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510 

For correspondence to Senate Committees: 

(Name of Committee)
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510 

By Telephone

Alternatively, you may phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

#GetActive Thank you!

The following graphic represents how individual states such as Wisconsin value our wildlife.

The following is a wolf hounding fact sheet:

 Out of all the states that hunt wolves, only Wisconsin allows hound hunters to use unleashed packs of dogs to hunt wolves. Wisconsin, quite literally, throws “dogs to the wolves.”Hound hunters traditionally train their dogs to focus on specific prey by releasing their dogs to surround, attack and terrorize a prey animal (e.g. a bear cub or fox) for hours on end (up to 16 hours/day) enclosed in a small, open barrel or “roll cage.” At this point it remains disturbingly unclear as to how hound hunters will train their dogs to pursue wolves instead of other animals—will it be by capturing wolves and allowing their dogs to attack them in barrels and pens? How isn’t this worse than illegal dog fighting? To read more click here

Get involved Be the Voice for America’s Gray Wolf…

…Action Alert. Contact your representatives in the U. S. Senate today. Major anti wolf legislation is now being proposed in the U. S. Senate. Just recently in the House version of the defense bill that could weaken the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Marine Mammal Protection Act; Another provision in the bill that Republicans want to include would delist gray wolves found near the Great Lakes and Wyoming, while another amendment would block ESA protections for all gray wolves in the continental U.S.

The Senate is considering a ‘sweeping attack’ on the Endangered Species Act, environmental groups say. The bill’s author, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), is holding a hearing now. The legislation would empower governors to veto some of the current protections for imperiled species, and limit the ability of citizens to file lawsuits to protect threatened plants and animals. [read more]

Wait there’s potentially another anti-wolf bill, a version of a bill that passed the House of Representatives a month’s ago could be on its way in the U. S. Senate. On June 6, 2018 The U. S. House of Representatives passed a Bill: Making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes.

The bill contains language for delisting of Gray wolves in the lower 48 states:

…the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife [read more]

The majority in power is clearly trying to rewrite the Endangered Species Act in favor of big monied special interests that want the land (animal’s land it protects) would place endangered species in even more danger of extinction. Please be the voice for the Gray wolf. #ExtinctionIsForever

Here’s what you can do…

You can help stop this threat to the Endangered Species Act by contacting your senator. Click here for their contact information.

Here’s another way you can help. 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. Click here for more information on how to get involved.

Featured image credit: NPS

Wisconsin’s Elusive Gray Wolf Deserves Our Protection…

In the late 1970s wolf Recovery in Wisconsin began. The Gray wolf made a comeback after being eradicated through hunting and trapping in Wisconsin. It wasn’t long before hunting special interests groups began their bid to get Wisconsin’s Gray wolf delisted. Sadly after 40 years of recovery these special interests (Fringe hunters) hunting groups got their way. In the state of Wisconsin the Gray wolf is hunted (2012-2014) for a fireplace rug & mounted as a trophy when he’s not listed on the Endangered Species Act. He was delisted in 2012 and his domestic relative, the dog, was used to track and trail him until a federal judged ordered the Gray wolf back on the ESL in December 2014. Today Wisconsin’s Gray wolf is facing multiple delisting threats in congress backed by special interests; wanting the Gray Wolf’s habitat for oil & gas, lumbering, and the Gray wolf himself for trophy hunting.

U.S. House Passes Bill To De-List Wolves From Endangered Species.

We must make it right…get it right…before we lose everything…the wolf is a social animal just like we are…they depend on family for survival…so do we as human-beings…

The idea that only man is equipped for conserving our planet’s natural resources is a dying concept; dying right along with the untold numbers of wild sentient beings killed in the name of conservation. Such problems drive home a critical flaw in the paradigm of conserving wildlife.

It’s going to take a major shift in thinking that will require opening up lines of communication between the general public; specifically with interests in conserving our natural resources for future generations to come. It’s not about numbers. It’s about sentient beings sharing our planet, and how we can coexist for the benefit of all living upon Mother Earth.

Changing the paradigm from killing to compassionate conservation is a major shift in thinking…

Through my mind’s eye memories flow through the years spent within the Gray Wolf’s range in Wisconsin’s northern forests in Douglas county starting in the year 2000. There you’ll find vast wilderness of forests and barrens where the Gray wolf resides.

Do you think there’s room for the Gray wolf? The following video was shot 2 summers ago in 2015. This landscape is found on a 15 mile long remote gravel road in northern Wisconsin. Do you think there’s room for the wolf?

Last summer, 2018, I visited this same area (in the video) with friend Elke Duerr and who’s filming in the photograph.

When I began helping to monitor Wisconsin’s Gray wolf in the year 2000 there were only 66 Gray wolf packs in the state. Today’s over winter wolf population count is around 945 individuals.

In northern Wisconsin beauty can be found where the Gray wolf resides. I’ve walked these trails for over two decades in search of Wisconsin’s wild & elusive gray wolf.

The Gray wolf in Wisconsin trots freely down the wild and remote gravel roads in Douglas county.

Rains of summer create a lush paradise in wolf range.

The Gray wolf in northern Wisconsin. Photograph screen shot from Red Cliff reservation trail cam.

In summer of July 2018 I met a Raven on a remote gravel road in Douglas county. Douglas county is home for Wisconsin’s wild Gray wolf.

The Gray wolf in Wisconsin deserves our protection…

Contact your members of Congress today.

Urgent Action Needed to Protect the Gray Wolf from Latest Delisting Threat…

Anti-wolf Politicians in Congress are working to delist wolves in the 48 contiguous States of the United States even going as far as preventing any judicial review of this process. These politicians are undermining the Endangered Species Act itself!

Click HERE to listen to an interview about this delisting bill.

On June 6, 2018 The U. S. House of Representatives passed a Bill: Making appropriations for the Department of the Interior, environment, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019, and for other purposes.

The bill contains language for delisting of Gray wolves in the lower 48 states:

…the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife…

The Bill calls for delisting Gray Wolves throughput the 48 contiguous States…

Reissuence of final Rules

SEC. 116. (a) The final rule published on September 10, 2012 (77 Fed. Reg. 55530) that was reinstated on March 3, 2017, by the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (No. 14-5300) and fur-

(b) Such issuance (including this section)—

(1) shall not be subject to judicial review; and 63 ther republished on May 1, 2017 (82 Fed. Reg. 20284) that reinstates the removal of Federal protections for the gray wolf in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), and this subsection, shall not be subject to judicial review. (b) Before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall reissue the final rule published on December 9 28, 2011 (76 Fed. Reg. 81666), without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. Such reissuance (including this sub-section) shall not be subject to judicial review.

Gray Wolves Range–Wide

SEC. 117. (a) Not later than the end of fiscal year 2019, and except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in section 17.11 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule. 2) shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.

Here’s what you can do to keep Gray wolves protected under the Endangered Species Act

Contact your members of Congress and make it known that you want Gray wolves in the United States to remain protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Members of the U.S. Congress

U.S. Senators—Get contact information for your Senators in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Representatives—Find the website and contact information for your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Take action today to save Gray wolves!

Featured image: Offspring of Mollie’s pack in Yellowstone Park show respect to their mother and father. DAN STAHLER/Yellowstone National Park

Featured image of wolf by Ian Mcallister

The Intent Upon Killing Wolves for Trophy on Public Lands is Exploitation

The War On Wolves Continues. Wolf advocates we must make our voices heard. By Alex Krevitz, M.A. Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin Science Editor

In recent years state and federal natural resource agencies have targeted grey wolves Canis lupus, for elimination.  Scientific organizations and reputable non governmental wildlife organizations have had their peer reviewed scientific research eschewed by policy makers.   Individual scientists have had aspersions cast upon their professional legitimacy for questioning wolf management policies.

The purveyors of the anti wolf misinformation have been affiliated with groups associated with extractive industries, agricultural interests and trophy hunting. Their goal has been a mission to depict wolves as wanton killers of deer and livestock. Their interests have been served by legislators whose campaigns they have funded.  Cases before the Supreme Court of the U.S. such as Citizens United and Montana Copper Kings have infused those who seek to exploit public land for private gain often at the expense of wildlife with a source of revenue with which to influence policy makers.  Fortunately, the judiciary on several occasions have restored protections to wolves. Justices have characterized the fervent and scientifically unfounded war on wolves as “arbitrary” and “irresponsible.”

Historically, over decades, Americans, in polls and on ballot initiatives,  have expressed strong support for banning wolf hunting and protecting public lands. Surreptitious attempts by extractive industries and ranchers to devastate these lands for personal gain have met with massive and vocal public opposition and some plans have been stopped or delayed.

Miraculously, persistent communications to legislators by wolf advocates resulted in the species continued protection. Numerous NGOs and grass roots activists update each other and the public on legislative maneuvers and upcoming votes. Countering large well funded and experienced entities determined to remove wolves from Endangered Species protections is an ongoing task. Certain members of Congress with hitherto positive environmental records have capitulated to their well funded cohorts with opposing agendas.

The current Interior Secretary has elevated the trophy hunting and mineral extraction as top priorities of his department. He has faced skepticism and criticism from scientists, the conservation community and the public. Naturalists at all levels  have been appalled by this single minded focus on transforming the Interior Department into  a safe haven for those intent upon killing trophy animals and exploiting natural resources on public lands as  primary objectives.

Once a species had been extirpated there is no return. The cumulative effects of killing, border walls and habitat destruction is terminal.

So the fight goes on to advocate for our wildlife who cannot protest in their own right.  To protect our sacrosanct and irreplaceable natural resources; It is imperative that severe exploitation actions be publicized, and that those who advocate for these destruction be held accountable.

We must  make our voices heard as individuals through the media, petitions, at public meetings, using our informed communications networks to rally support. We must all vote. America’s natural resources, including wolves, were protected in the past due to public support.  It is incumbent upon all of us to provide that same support for wildlife and wildlands now.

Alex Krevitz,  M.A.

Science Editor

Ill conceived Assembly Bill 712 Takes a Nose-Dive in Public Hearing

On Wednesday January 10th the Committee on Natural Resources & Sporting Heritage held a Public Hearing on Assembly Bill 712.

Assembly Bill 712 is legislation not guided by or based on good sense. This bill ties the hands of local law enforcement from assisting federal authorities in any investigation into the illegal killing of Wisconsin’s wild wolf. Considering 20% of wolf mortalities were illegal killings in 2016 this bill is rather ill conceived. Wolves are a federally protected endangered species.

Jodi Sinykin Habush, an attorney spoke along with her son, Zack Sinykin in opposition to AB 712.

“It’s not a clear issue and it’s difficult to resolve as it makes sense,” said Jodi Habush Sinykin, environmental attorney for Midwest Environmental Advocates. “There are millions of dollars of federal funds at stake as well if Wisconsin were to pursue this task.”

Rep. Nick Milroy (D-South Range) made note at the absence of the bill’s author.

Milroy said he was disgusted that Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) could not be present for the public hearing on Assembly Bill 712.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been to a committee hearing in my life where the lead author of the bill has not shown up for the public hearing,” said Milroy. “There’s some speculation that the whole reason for this bill is because the author of the bill is running for another office right now and the election is next week.”

The vote on this bill is not going to happen until after the election, of which has no concern for this committee at this time,” kleefisch said. Kleefisch is chairman of the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage.

Many concerned citizens came out at Wednesday’s Public Hearing in opposition to AB 712. Wisconsin

State HSUS Representaive Melissa Tedrowe spoke in opposition against any trophy hunting of wolves, further stating the importance of wolves on the landscape. Tedrowe made it clear that Humane Society of the United States is an animal protection agency, and is opposed to the sport hunting of wolves. “Seventeen wolf packs disappeared in three years of wolf hunting,” said Tedrowe. Sport hunting of wolves indiscriminately messes with wolf packs and increases conflict. “Wolves are trophies when they are hunted and nobody eats them,” said Tedrowe.

Rep. Mark Spreitzer, D-Beloit, questioned the companion Senate bill author Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, whether the legislation would lead to illegal killings.

“Aren’t you giving free license to people, at least as far as the state’s concerned, to violate both state and federal law?”

“Tiffany told the committee it’s the federal government’s responsibility to manage wolf populations.”

“They should hire the staff necessary to review these things if they believe it’s that important,” said Tiffany.

“The wolf plays an important role in the culture of all of Wisconsin Indian tribes,” he said. “Lack of wolf protection, as this bill would cause, would probably result in tribes losing packs on reservation lands and portions of the ceded territories.” Said Adrian Wydeven, of Timber Wolf Alliance.

What’s next for this ill conceived bill?

The companion bill of AB 712 is scheduled for a Senate Public Hearing Committee on Sporting Heritage, Mining and Forestry on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 10:00 AM.

Senate Bill 602 Relating to: enforcement of federal and state laws relating to the management of the wolf population and to the killing of wolves and expenditure of funds for wolf management purposes. By Senators Tiffany, Vukmir and Craig; cosponsored by Representatives Jarchow, Felzkowski, Quinn, Kremer, E. Brooks, Skowronski, Krug, Kleefisch, Swearingen, Stafsholt, Kulp, Brandtjen, Tauchen, Ripp, Edming, Vorpagel, Rohrkaste and Horlacher.

Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin remains in opposition of AB 712. Read more Please take action to protect Wisconsin’s wild wolf from legislation not guided by or based on good sense…