Dear Editor: What happens if wolves lose federal protections?

September 2018 is going to be the worst month for wolves and other endangered species that we have seen in decades. Congress, and worse, the Department of the Interior are not only after wolves, but the entire Endangered Species Act itself. Without the act, species will perish and wolves of Wisconsin being no exception.

We are in a co-extinction crisis, yet some politicians want you to believe that wolves are apparently destroying farmers and the deer herd. Of course, that is not true. There were only 13 verified livestock depredations out of 2.6 million cows in our state.

Ultimately, if Wisconsin wolves lose federal Endangered Species Act protections, two-thirds of the population will die at the hands of trophy hunters. The last time federal protections were prematurely stripped from Great Lakes wolves, state agencies opened up brutal hunting and trapping seasons and more than 1,500 wolves were killed in just three years.

Wisconsin is the only state to allow wolf hounding and also permit hounders to run as many as six dogs on wolves and other wildlife for training 24/7, year-round. Hounders are permitted to release dogs fitted with radio collars, giving them free rein into the forest to run down packs of wolves. When hunting hounds meet up with wolves, it is inevitable that there will be death and maiming on both sides.

Quotas aim to reduce the Wisconsin wolf population by as much as two-thirds, and the duration of the hunting season is too long (Oct.-Feb.), allowing it to extend into the breeding season, making it difficult for packs to maintain stable populations, potentially leading to the devastation of the Wisconsin wolf population altogether

I urge everyone to contact their representatives. We want wolves.

Melissa Smith


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