FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Madison, WI – A conservative legal firm is suing Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources on behalf of an out of state based “hunting” group to force it to schedule an immediate winter wolf hunt. An early hunt was voted down last month by the Natural Resources Board after over 1400 citizens and tribal authorities testified to shut it down. Over 75% of the testimony and written comments did not favor a wolf hunt at all, even in the fall.
Jeremy St. Arnold, former Tribal wolf biologist and scientific advisor to Great Lakes Wildlife Alliance stated that “no other endangered species has received this type of expedited legislature attempts or lawsuits, so while the USFWS claims it isn’t a special species…they, along with people on both extremes, continue to prove otherwise. In addition, the tribes, by law must be consulted which they have not been, and this lawsuit removes any consultation whatsoever and is disrespectful on it’s own.”
Britt Ricci, who lives in Northern Wisconsin feels this is a bad move for rural Wisconsin residents. “The anti-wolf crowd, no doubt, will tout this as a victory for wolves, but nothing could be further from the truth. Wolves in Wisconsin could be subject to inhumane trapping, snaring and hounding. Indiscriminate killing of wolves actually increases conflicts and spreads deer disease like CWD, so the special interests like the farm bureau and sportsmen’s groups are not only doing a disservice to themselves pushing an early wolf hunt but may cause the wolf to be relisted again.”
Paul Collins, a long time Wisconsin wildlife advocate also expressed concerns about the hypocrisy of the out of state based special interest group behind the lawsuit and the motivations behind it. “I find it baffling that despite the Wisconsin DNR already setting up a wolf killing season for November, an out of state-based group of well-known far right extremists is demanding an immediate killing season less than a month post-delisting. These same people wonder why wildlife advocacy groups keep fighting for wolves and challenging the federal delistings in court? Look no further than the actions on display here. Apparently being able to send unlimited packs of hounds legally 24/7/365 against wolves under the guise of “training” isn’t enough for these extremists. They also must be able to immediately satiate their desire for “trophies” while pretending that it has something to do with “rights,” “the law,” and “conservation.” There is something much more nefarious here than just the desire to kill wolves, I am afraid. It should come as no surprise that some behind this lawsuit have quite the history of undermining the rights of others and even democracy itself. The hypocrisy on display here is staggering.”
The Wolf Advisory committee under Governor Scott Walker, and now under Governor Evers blocks pro-wolf or scientists outside of the DNR from participating. The DNR’s own study shows very large support for the wolf population statewide at it’s current population and majority support in wolf country.All citizens should have a say and not just special interest lobbying groups and conservative think tanks that wish to have the species removed from the landscape entirely so they can exploit Wisconsin.
Mary Anderson, a Washburn County farmer, and forest technician with the Department of Agriculture stated that she has to work a full time job in addition to running her farm. “Wolves are the farthest thing down my list of problems. I’m worried about having jobs in rural Wisconsin, clean water and watching out for family farms. Honestly I’ve had more problems with loose dogs than the resident wolf pack along the river. Wolf depredation occurred at only 13 out of over 70,000 farms in Wisconsin. Hardly a crisis and people are reimbursed for their losses and can use lethal control if necessary.”