Words from Walt #5

Things may not be looking good for wolves in the State of Wisconsin. A proposed new state law would halt state funding of wolf conservation and management, and would make it illegal for state law enforcement officers to enforce laws designed to protect wolves, as long as wolves are a federally protected endangered or threatened species. Sadly, it is but another pitiful reminder of the blatant prejudice these animals face and can be laid directly at the feet of the hunting lobby. It is not surprising that the two state legislative committees involved in this proposed legislation have as part of their titles alleged “Sporting Heritage”.

Wisconsin through its Department of Natural Resources has been a leader in monitoring wolf populations in the State and acting responsibly toward wolf management. That Department has worked closely with the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and has developed a solid partnership on the issue of wolf management. Any delisting of the wolf in Wisconsin should proceed in an orderly and scientifically based manner and not in response to a power play in the state legislature by means of a threat to enable the destruction of wolves in that State in “or else” fashion.

Research has shown that people in Wisconsin support a sustainable wolf population in the State, but of course this makes no difference to the minority hunting faction who fear alleged competition from wolves, just trying to survive, in their attempting to insure bigger deer herds for them to shoot for fun and amusement (nobody needs deer meat to subsist in modern America). Moreover, they can’t wait for delisting to occur so they might have a chance to add wolves to their killing for fun and amusement.

The above report on the proposed legislative activity comes from Northland College’s Timber Wolf Alliance, which is opposing vigorously this misguided legislative effort. Also, long time wolf advocate and protector, Adrian Wydeven, has written an important op ed on the issue in the Wisconsin State Journal. He is a member of the Timber Wolf Alliance Advisory Council.

The Wisconsin State Bill in question is SB602/AB712.

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