A Note From Our Executive Director
Friends, are you growing tired of having to mourn the innocent beings who are mowed down by our hurried lives and lack of ability to coexist? We care about wildlife issues because we have reverence for all creatures. Pain is pain. Fear is fear. Death is death, and love is love…for all of us. Some days, I struggle to understand why people feel the need to kill for the sake of killing because they cannot recognize fear, sorrow and pain in our fellow animal friends. To them, it might just be another wild animal. But to us, that living being has the same right to live it’s life, have a family, and be happy with the same freedom we all do.
If we cannot do this for them, what hope do we have for ourselves? Thankfully, I still have hope thanks to advocates like you, and the many others who remain a prominent voice for wildlife in the Great Lakes region.
Spring is truly the season of renewal. After another cold, harsh winter, nothing lifts my spirits like seeing early spring flowers popping up around us, birds returning and animals nurturing their young. As the weather warms and days get longer, our entire perspective begins to shift. And with the exception of a few species, Spring brings a much needed reprieve to wildlife and to humans alike. We can let our guards down and venture back out into our shared public lands with less worry of gun violence, hounds and traps.
We have a lot of important and vital work to do this spring! Wildlife Day at the Capitol, our 10th anniversary Celebration, the Wisconsin Conservation Congress (WCC), World Wildlife Day and so much more!
Wildlife Day at the Capitol is going to be so important this year. I echo the thoughts of this excellent op-ed from New Mexico: Let’s be clear, killing wildlife is not conservation and this fantastic LTE out of Michigan: Hunters have outsized influence on Michigan wildlife policy. The tide is slowly turning for us, but not fast enough for many imperiled species. We must continue to be inventive and urgent with our actions in 2023! I hope you will join us.
I cannot wait to see you all in person at the capitol next month and am thrilled to announce that registration is officially open!
Please join us for a day of speaking up for Wisconsin wolves and wildlife! Starting with a morning legislative briefing, guest speakers and lunch, we’ll then proceed onto individual meetings with your State Senator and Representative in support of wolf protections and other wildlife issues that matter most to you.
We will provide FREE lunch, legislator talking points and prep time, handouts, our 10th anniversary t-shirt and pre-scheduled appointments with your legislators.
Join this movement to tell your lawmakers to protect Wisconsin wolves and wildlife. Wolves especially need us to speak for them, as they may soon lose federal protections. State wildlife management agencies are already preparing to open more state-sanctioned hunting, hounding, snaring and trapping seasons on wolves to reduce their population.
As a constituent, you are vital in persuading legislators that wildlife belongs to everyone and that keystone species, like wolves, need special consideration and protections. Wildlife Day is an opportunity to bring together and ethical hunters, non-consumptive users, scientists, silent sports enthusiasts, farmers, tribal members and anyone who truly cares about wildlife as a unified yet, diverse voice for policy.
Volunteers are needed! We are looking for people to help with set up/take down, serving lunch, distributing materials and others willing to direct or accompany advocates to their appointments with legislators. If you are interested in helping out, please be sure to sign up as a volunteer when you to register for Wildlife Day! It is very important for us to know you will come so we can plan in advance. There is no cost to attend and ALL are welcome!
Nominees for the Natural Resources Board
Did you know that in most states, a group of volunteers appointed by the governor sets wildlife policy?
These boards oversee everything from the budget of the state wildlife agency, to hiring the agency director, to how many deer and wolves can be killed and by what methods, or whether they can be killed at all.
The members of these commissions wield a lot of power, yet remarkably, in many states they are not required to have any particular expertise in wildlife conservation. And they tend to be mostly men with a certain set of values not held by the majority of people. Nearly all positions are held by hunters, anglers and trappers. Here is one area in particular where there is a huge gap between the status quo and public values: the way wildlife policy is made in Wisconsin.
Given the important role the Natural Resources Board plays, Great Lakes Wildlife Alliance is developing a list of recommended qualifications for candidates to ensure that they have the expertise and understanding to fulfill their duties as trustees of the wildlife public trust, and that they represent the broad public interest in wildlife. Wisconsin does have requirements for serving, and you can read more about those here.
Seats are opening up on the Natural Resources Board this spring. If you or anyone you know might be interested in serving on this board, please contact us here.
The Biden administration is banning mining for 20 years in a giant watershed near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and surrounding watershed, a spectacular network of rivers, lakes and forests in northeastern Minnesota that comprise the most heavily visited wilderness area in the United States. This is the president’s latest effort to deliver on conservation pledges that would shape the future of America’s wild lands.
The move, announced January 26th, extends a temporary decision from a year ago to block copper, nickel and other hard-rock mining that the Trump administration had tried to greenlight near the Canadian border. Officials said they determined the potential toxic leaching from mining would be too threatening to nature, local Native American communities and a growing recreation economy.
The Biden administration has promised to set aside sacred tribal sites and to conserve 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030, but has come under fire for how to balance that push with demand for oil, renewable energy and minerals.
[BWCA photography by Dominic Ricci]
TICKS COME OUT IN MARCH!
Anyone who spends time in the great outdoors knows about the threat of disease-carrying ticks to any unsuspecting passer-by. Ticks are efficient hunters, hiding in brush or tall grass for a host to latch onto. Once attached, they can often go unnoticed for days. Tick larvae, nymphs or adult ticks can easily end up in residential areas, creating new tick populations in your own back yard, favorite hiking trail or neighborhood park.
Lyme is endemic in Wisconsin, for you, your pets and wildlife. This is why tick safety is so very important! This Spring, we are excited to be partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to provide reminders about prevention strategies! The Tick App is a smartphone application to study human behavior, tick exposure and the risk of Lyme disease by collecting data through simple surveys with a citizen science approach.
You can download the app from iTunes and Google Play Store. If you don’t have a smart-phone, don’t want to use it for this purpose or just prefer paper you can enroll through their website. Learn more about The Tick App by clicking below!