On behalf of your constituents, we ask that you view their video appeal about wolves in Wisconsin:
Even how diverse we are from urban to rural, farmer to wolf advocate the majority of Wisconsin citizens want wolves protected. 56% of Wisconsinites, based on the WI DNR’s own survey living in wolf range wish to have the number of wolves we have or more. You stated that you believe wolf management debates deserve thoughtful and careful consideration by state and tribal wildlife experts, following a federal delisting. On the Wisconsin wolf committee, once you get outside of the agency personnel who do what they are told or lose their job, you’ve got seven groups that are related to hunting, trapping and livestock interests, and that doesn’t reflect the public interest in general.
People often portrays scientists and Christians as incapable of peaceful coexistence. The same is true of rural and urban people. Hunters and Animal Rights. But these dichotomies don’t really exist. For most of us, the wolf is pretty far down the list of threats to our livelihood or person. In fact, the threat is non-existent. We address these emotional responses to wolves with education and empathy, not by attacking our false fears. Underlying all we do is our faith in representation and we entrusts it to the care of human society. And why does this matter when it comes to wolves? Because this truly is a moral decision, and your constituents know that based upon the history we have shown to the wolf in this country, we owe it to them to regard them as special creatures. We can debate wildlife management, listed or delisted, but we need to ask ourselves as caretakers of the land and animals what is fair to the wolf based on our history of torture and extermination.
We care deeply about our conservation ethics, and feel that the responsibility of our elected officials is to properly manage not only wolves, but deer. And the state management of deer in Wisconsin is nothing short of a disaster with CWD. With that being said, places where wolves thrive have almost no incidents of CWD and very successful harvest rates. Let’s stick to scientists when it comes to delisting a species, not incorrect blame on nature’s way to keep deer populations healthy and in check.
We feel the changes at the DNR fly in the face of Wisconsin’s conservation ethic and contradict the wishes of the majority of state residents who prefer non-lethal nature activities, like hiking, camping and photography. We are disturbed by the enormous clout of pro-hunting groups designing our wolf management plan, which includes driving their numbers to an outdated “cap” on their population. Here in Wisconsin, when it comes to wolves, the extremist hound-hunting lobby has been getting what it paid for. We have paid out over 700,000 dollars for dead bear dogs put deliberately in harms way. Three major anti-wolf groups — the Bear Hunters, state chapter of Safari Club International and United Sportsmen of Wisconsin — have collectively spent more than $500,000 on lobbying against wolves in the past 10 years.
And Bear Hunters and Safari Club members, records show, have given nearly $350,000 to state political campaigns since mid-2008. This includes $21,500 to Gov. Scott Walker, and $35,000 to current members of the legislative committees in a very Gerrymandered state.
Whether or not you are in favor of delisting, we urge you to push your colleagues not to set a terrible and long term dangerous precedent of delisting a species, any species, through the legislative process. This will inevitably create a set of horse trading of species between congressional members. If delisting needs to be vetted, it should be by current wildlife and sociological professionals, both inside and outside of the agencies and based on best available science. Wisconsin, sadly, has lost it’s way when it comes to conservation legacy and we feel Governor Nelson, Aldo Leopold and John Muir would be rolling over in their graves. The agencies and committees here are not democratic and violate the public trust.
Senator Baldwin, we ask of you to protect Wisconsin’s gray wolf from unnecessary and cruel hunting because it is the moral thing to do. We ask that you oppose delisting, and if you can’t, put caveats on your delisting stance.
Ensure that all rural values, including Native voices get equal representation.
Ensure that DNR staff and the public are protected from improper and unethical political pressure.
Work for us in Congress to truly protect farms and the environment using best available science.
We urge you to put pressure on our state to correct representation problems and make sure all citizens voices are heard on wolf recovery.
Friends of the Wisconsin Wolf & Wildlife