Letter: Bills targeting wolf populations need to be stopped
I wanted to provide my opinions on S.B. 602/A.B. 712 as a scholar studying conservation, and as an avid hunter who is appalled by these bills.
S.B. 602/A.B. 712 would prevent Wisconsin law enforcement officers from enforcing or attempting to enforce any federal or state law relating to wolf management or the illegal killing of wolves; along with preventing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from expending any funds for wolf management, or informing or supporting federal law enforcement officers regarding the enforcement of the Endangered Species Act.
In this sense, the bills proposed would endorse the act of poaching wolves and the extirpation of the grey wolf in Wisconsin. Only just recently has the grey wolf population been large enough to allow for three state-regulated hunts between 2012 and 2014. During this period, one single season lead to the harvest of 20 percent of the population of Wisconsin’s grey wolf. For many of us these are acceptable numbers, but, if it were to continue, this could not and would not be sustainable.
The grey wolf’s diet consists of large hoofed mammals such as deer, moose, along with rabbits and other small prey. The wolf’s predation keeps deer, elk, and moose populations sustainable and healthy by eating the weak and sick. It also helps the local vegetation by reducing the population, which allows plant species to be reestablished in the ecosystem. Despite these benefits and the facts available to the public, anti-sentiment toward wolves is prevalent.
I personally hunt on public land where wolf packs have been established, and I embrace their presence, knowing the benefits they provide for the ecosystem and the deer populations around me.
Wisconsin legislators, it’s up to you to do the right thing, stop S.B. 602/A.B. 712.
IT’S IMPORTANT TO SHOW THE NUMBER OF WOLVES KILLED EACH TEAR WHEN WOLVES WERE DELISTED FROM 2012-2014 THESE WERE BRUTAL KILLING YEARS—
QUOTA: 201 (85 protected under Tribal quota)
Hunting: 56 (48%)
Hounding: 0 (0%)
Trapping: 61 (52%)
TOTAL WOLVES KILLED: 117
Hunting: 77 (30%)
Hounding: 35 (14%)
Trapping: 180 (70%)
TOTAL WOLVES KILLED: 257
Hunting: 25 (16%)
Hounding: 6 (4%)
Trapping: 123 (80%)
TOTAL WOLVES KILLED: 154
528 lives taken in just 2 years when wolves were delisted. That is appalling!! We cannot let this happen again! We must do everything possible to keep them listed.
There are a number of Bills and Riders that could be devastating to wolves and open trophy hunting, trapping, snaring and S.B. 602/A.B. 712 introduced by anti-wolf Wisconsin lawmakers that would prevent Wisconsin law enforcement officers from enforcing or attempting to enforce any federal or state law relating to wolf management or the illegal killing of wolves.
It would also prevent the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources from expending any funds for the purpose of wolf management or informing or supporting federal law enforcement officers regarding the enforcement of the federal ESA. It endorses the poaching of wolves and why it’s also known as the “wolf poaching Bill” Not only that– it also prevents the state from future wolf monitoring efforts.
Act now and support the efforts Protect the Wolves is making to help with attorney fees so we can put an end to this! Please don’t forget members of Congress need to hear from you!! Tell them to OPPOSE ALL Legislation that delists wolves and dismantles the Endangered Species Act.