Dear Editor: In January 2012 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officially delisted the gray wolf from Endangered Species Act protections in the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin. The same day that the delisting became official, legislation was introduced by anti-wolf legislators that would open the door to three years of reckless killing, legal dog fighting and killing well over the established “quotas.”
In December 2014 a federal judge ruled that the delisting rule failed to take into account the former range of the species and incorrectly labeled the Great Lakes wolves as a “distinct species” for the sole purpose of delisting and not for the overall “recovery” of the species.
The hostility that Wisconsin exhibited toward this species was disturbing and made many question whether this state was capable of responsibly “managing” this species at all. In spite of this some anti-wolf federal representatives and both of Wisconsin’s senators continue to push for a forced delisting of the species and a resumption of Wisconsin’s near-eradication plans that would reduce the population to “350 or less.” Despite almost a decade of talk from the Wisconsin DNR about updating the decades-old “wolf management plan” and the ridiculously low “goal” number of 350 animals, the Wisconsin DNR appears to have done nothing to move forward with that updated plan. In fact the Wisconsin DNR seems content keeping in place the decades-old plan and abiding by the absurdly low “goal” numbers contained within.
I hope that with new leadership, the Wisconsin DNR moves forward with updating this plan and adopts a rational approach to the “management” of this species other than arbitrarily killing them off to a politically based number. The DNR must also take into account the views of all citizens and not just the loudest voices at the table.
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