Wolf loses ESA protection in the Great Lakes Feb. 10, 2012
Minnesota talks about hunting season-
Hunting season bill introduced into Wisconsin legislature-
At long last, wolves are delisted in the Great Lakes. Now folks are looking to see if the wolf can be conserved by these states, or whether old attitudes from 19th century prevail as they have politically in Idaho and Montana.
While it should be noted that the Humane Society is still trying to derail the delisting, most people, according the polls support delisting, but not a hunt right now, at least in Wisconsin.Hunting is the problem or the solution in all these states according to differing points of view. It isn’t so much hunting per se that is the question but whether the seasons will be of the kind the keep the wolf population about stable or whether it is to all but wipe them out as in Idaho and Montana.
Minnesota was the last refuge for the wolf in the lower 48 states. When the wolf was protected by the ESA there back in the mid-1970s, the wolf population quickly began to grow and spread reaching a maximum of about 3000 wolves by the end of the 1990s. Then, contrary to predictions by those who think wolf populations grow until they collapse and all other wildlife are dead, the wolf population stabilized. It is estimated 2900 roam the northern, mostly northeastern portion of the state. That is the same as a decade ago.
Minnesota DNR and the legislature seem to be talking about a hunt that would set a quota of 400 wolves in a hunt that begins in late November. This would be about 15% and sustainable, from the standpoint of stability, a good option.
Wisconsin, with about 700 wolves that got their start from Minnesota wolves migrating to the Badger State, has no hunting season planned, but there is a bill in the legislature to have one with a quota (400) that would depress the population. Wisconsin has long been a progressive state, but a lot of right-wingers slipped into office in 2010. The controversial new governor, Scott Walker, and an increasingly thin majority (due to recalls) in the legislature of right wingers, have been passing regressive legislature. Walker is slated for his own recall election, and he will likely soon also be under investigation for campaign crimes. The state is being flooded by political money from the Koch Brothers and their friends. Observers argue Wisconsinites have decided to fight each other, and the wolf hunt will feed into that. A second election (2012) is probably needed to settle some of these issues.
Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan are all states where Lyme Disease is rampant. Excessive numbers of deer likely contribute to the problem as well as an amazing number of traffic accidents. Some say the wolves are helping with the Lyme Disease problem and also retarding the spread of chronic wasting disease by culling and controlling an overly large deer population.
The 550 or so wolves in Michigan are all in the U.P. (the Upper Peninsula), which is geographically cut off from the rest of Michigan by the Great Lakes. An other would probably think the UP would logically be part of Wisconsin.
Here is a sample of the news about hunting wolves in Wisconsin. Bill to hunt wolves is off target, expert says. By Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel
Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.
86 Responses to Wolf loses ESA protection in the Great Lakes Feb. 10, 2012
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I have been living this firsthand. I am optimistic that Walker and his goons will be gone soon, and common sense can return to Wisconsin. From what I have been told by several sources in the know there is more and more backlash against this insane bill as more people find out about what it contains. If they ram this through lawsuits will be flying fast and furious against it. Do these people not understand this? They could have proposed a very limited hunting season in areas of high depredation, but instead decided to gift wrap a bill for the extremists in the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association that includes every form of wolf killing short of artillery.
I was told by the rep for my state representative that they do not expect the bill to go anywhere if it makes it to the senate because of the controversy behind it and other anti-environment bills that Walker and his cronies are pushing. I hope he is right, but nothing surprises me anymore with this state. Walker has pissed off a good percentage of this state, and this bill would only add fuel to the fire. I really hope that Wisconsin has learned it’s lesson when it comes to electing people like this. We certainly cannot afford to make the same mistake again.
Here is an article about how “well” Walker’s reforms are working:
Let’s see if this is blamed on the wolves.
Thank you Ralph for posting this. It is about time that word is finally getting out about this.
My peers and I have been watching this issue very closely. At least MN and WI will have some sort of permit and monitoring plans. Our wolves here in Michigan will be allowed to go to the dogs (literally). The MI Wolf Plan, if you can call it that, allows landowners or their deignees, to kill wolves in the act of harrassing, killing, stalking, or “worrying” thier pets or livestock, without a permit or a mandatory monitoring system! A voluntary, 24 hour, phone-in reporting system is also included in the plan, but MI does not have the funds to monitor this. MI’s plan will basically let anyone shoot a wolf if they feel like it at any time. What a crock!
A few years ago I would have guessed that the good folks of the northern Midwest would put into place sensible wolf management policies once the species was delisted. After observing some of their recent contributions to state and national politics, e.g. Scott Walker, Michelle Bachman, etc., I have to confess that I’m not so optimistic. Fingers crossed.
I think Minnesota will be the important state of the three. The MDNR has it’s plan in place, a rather conservative plan when compared to all other states with wolves. Will the legislature allow the MDNR to do it’s job, or will they interject policy due to lobbying interests, alla Wisconsin.
And again, with lead flying, and traps abounding, it will be interesting to see how many innocent dogs get killed. How about a state compensation fund for those who lose a dog to a trap, with funding provided by those who insist that trapping is fine!
What I don’t understand is that these states have wanted to “manage” the wolf population all along. They finally have that opportunity to do so in a way that doesn’t invite lawsuits and of course one of the states has to be as extreme as possible. I know that all of us are tired of the lawsuits, but that may be the only way to stop the extremist plan of Wisconsin’s from going into effect. With plans like this what are these people trying to accomplish?
The abuse and vilification of animals, period.
Today on think progress…..
Walker will use foreclosure settlement money to balance the budget…..
i’ve got an idea…..maybe Walker can give a few million to the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Assoc……Problem solved. Those poor dogs- just like family
That S.O.B. cannot go soon enough. He and the other GOP state senators that are facing recalls are throwing up every roadblock that they can to stall the recall.
This Fitzgerald clown is one of Walker’s cronies. His brother also has a leadership position in the Assembly. Then their father was appointed by Walker to be the head of the Wisconsin State Patrol. Coincidence, anyone?
Thanks for mentioning the WI Bear Hunters Association, and getting my blood pressure up 🙂
If the voters of Wisconsin cannot de-throne this clown Walker- this country is doomed…..
If you read the article that Ralph posted in the story, check out the comments from this clown called “nowolves.” Gee I wonder what his agenda is?
And he’s a Walker supporter. With all that “job creation” and “budget cuttin” goin on in Wisconsin he’s be my choice for President……
As if you couldn’t tell I was the one who challenged him. Then he comes up with some nutty response about the wild horses in the west. I gave myself a frickin migraine conversing with that guy. Anyone with a screen name like “nowolves” needs to be challenged, and I can’t believe that I was the only one who did. And I would sure like to know where all of that job creating is happening because I sure as hell can’t find anything worth a damn.
I’m pretty sure nowolves is none other than reality 22. Good luck there.
I think that you are right. I have seen posts from “reality 22” on several stories about wolves and their “communication” methods are very similar. How can one person have so much hatred for a species? If indeed he does have “4 kids” I feel very sorry for them.
Just read the exchange. That’s reality 22 all right. One of the funniest things he/she ever did was knock the Middleton study about climate change affecting elk browse. He/she was very quick to write that the study was probably funded by Ralph Maughan, when in reality, pun intended, it was funded by a large number of hook and gun crowd, including SCI to which reality is a dues paying member. All it took was to click on a link within the story. Little Red Riding Hood is alive and well.
Is this clown from Wisconsin? He sure sounded like he is. Last year he was posting all kinds of anti-union, pro-Walker crap along with the usual anti-predator garbage. I had to challenge him this time, but it was just pissing in the wind.
Yes, the said poster is from Wisconsin. I enjoy the hypocrisy of the so much of this money can be used for teachers BS. If said poster is in favor of Walker’s policies, well then wooooosh, so much for hiring good teachers rather than rubber stampers.
It is funny how just across the lakes in Ontario the wolf has been a huntable species for decades and yet seems to have a stable population without negatively impacting the deer and moose populations or the hunting opportunities.
And somehow there are ~8,000 wolves roaming around Ontario without kids getting picked off at buss stops.
…but are there not parts of southern Ontario and Quebec along the St. Lawrence River farming areas where Canadian ranchers/farmers/hunters have taken a scorched earth stand on wolves, and thus there are very few wolves there – so few that there are not enough who can run the gauntlet, then bravely swim the river and show up in the US?
Seems John Glowa was telling us this regarding the tough go wolves would have making it to Maine.
I do not know, but sort of envision the same kind of situation in southern Ontario and southern Quebec as in the southern half of MN. In the southern farmlands of MN, I have been told, in-migrating wolves, once they get out of the forested area, just sort of disappear (the more refined and genteel Midwest form of the NRM 3S approach).
You are so correct. All one has to do is read Wolf Country by John and Mary Theberge to understand the frustration with studying wolves in Ontario’s Algonquin Park.
Yes, the formula is rather simple: wolves do well where and when they are not constantly being shot. The difference is that there are still plenty of places where wolves can escape men with guns in Canada.
I have a friend in Canada who’s afraid to cross the border. Says American’s are “militant”.
He has a point. We live in a society where if you get sick, you lose everything. Canadian’s do not, hence the anger.
As Dr. Maughan mentioned in his column, many people believe that wolves are helping “retard the spread of chronic wasting disease” in Wisconsin and elsewhere across North America. I share that belief.
When attempting to manage wolf populations in our modern world, we must admit that the threat of prion contamination in our watersheds and food chain now poses a much greater risk to several industries, human health, and homeland security than our god-given wolves ever did. In fact, predators are one of nature’s few defense barriers against the deadly spread of prion disease.
As more people are learning every day, prions are a form of deadly protein that builds up in the cells and bodily fluids of people and animals afflicted with various forms of prion disease, including mad cow disease, chronic wasting disease, scrapie, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. Prions now are such a formidable threat that the United States government enacted the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002 to halt research on infectious prions in the United States in all but two laboratories. Now, infectious prions are classified as select agents that require special security clearance for lab research. The intent is to keep prions and other dangerous biological materials away from terrorists who might use them to contaminate, food, water, blood, equipment, and entire facilities.
Dr. Stanley Prusiner earned a Nobel Prize in 1997 for identifying and studying deadly prions. President Obama awarded Prusiner the National Medal of Science in 2010 to recognize the growing significance of his discovery.
Thanks to Prusiner and other researchers, we now know that various forms of prion disease already are spreading around the world. Prion disease has been found in livestock and a variety of wildlife species across the Rocky Mountain region, the northwest U.S., and southwest Canada (gray wolf habitat). Reducing wolves in these areas below natural numbers will open the door to the deadly spread of prion contamination in the environment.
As Prusiner and other scientists have discovered, the prion pathogen spreads through urine, feces, saliva, blood, milk, soil, and the tissue of infected animals. With those attributes, prions obviously can migrate through surface water runoff and settle in groundwater, lakes, oceans, and water reservoirs. There is not a known cure for prion disease and allowing sick animals to wander the wild unchecked by wolves will further contaminate entire watersheds – increasing the pathway to humans, livestock, and wildlife downstream.
If prions must be regulated in a laboratory environment today, the outdoor environment should be managed accordingly. Wolves and other predators represent one of the few natural barriers to help minimize the spread of prions in the environment and within our food chain. Accelerating the killing of wolves and other predators for profit and pleasure is a foolish experiment in prion management and the politics of budget balancing is a reckless platform for managing wildlife, watersheds, and homeland security.
Now, more than ever, wolves are part of a healthy ecosystem and a healthy future. It’s time to develop a comprehensive prion management strategy that maximizes safeguards for human health, food, water, and wildlife. The stakes are too high for fragmented and misguided prion policies.
“Some say the wolves are helping with the Lyme Disease problem…”
Ralph, the only person saying this is you. Please read through all the comments on your earlier post “Lyme disease. Menace to outdoors lovers in Northeast, Midwest”.
I read all of them. Thanks for you comments, but I think this hypothesis has merit. It is not just me saying. I just Googled “lyme disease” AND deer wolves. It is instantly clear that many other people are saying it.
You’re right, it’s not just you. I was not aware so many have tried to add wolves to the Lyme disease equation. But it omits so many facts that I think its more propaganda than hypothesis.
The oversimplification of the link between deer and Lyme disease is nothing new. It’s long been brought up whenever scientifically based arguments could not convince people of the ecological need to reduce deer populations or to accept the recreational hunting of deer. Proven declines in songbirds due to over browsing by deer wasn’t relevant enough for some demographics so the link to Lyme disease would be exaggerated in order to sway deer hunt opponents. Now the same is being done to encourage more tolerance for wolves in the face of some anti-wolf hysteria.
Maybe this wolf/deer/tick campaign will work. Maybe the best way to fight anti-wolf propaganda is with pro-wolf propaganda. But it’s not a path I would take, especially when relating to human health.
I notice Senator Al Franken, today renewed his call for the feds to split the cost of wolf management in Minnesota. I’ve only been paying attention to the senator since he ran for the senate but I was immediately impressed. So bright, so liberal. Since election he has laid very low, showing that he can be a work horse not a show horse. I have hopes he will turn out to be a very influential senator. He has of course been pretty good on wolves too.
As someone from this region (and still lives there), this has been of concern to me. At least my home state of Michigan is still gonna protect them, listing them as non-game animals that can’t be hunted or trapped.
The basis of this Forum is wholeheartedly misrepresented. Not pro hunting yet not anti hunting??
This is an anti site, through and through.
Typical hypocricy, from those that hide behind the guise of acting as a conservationist.
Surely this will be deleted, which will only validate my impression of you all.
From your own worthless effort to try and hide from what you all really are.
March 24, 2010
We decided to write this page because of continual confusion about this forum’s stand on hunting.
This is not a pro-hunting blog, nor an anti-hunting blog. There is a good reason. Bad feeling between hunters and those don’t like hunting is probably the single biggest reason why there is not a widespread political movement to protect and enhance wildlife and wildlife habitat in the United States.
Part of this split is philosophical, but part is deliberately stirred up by those who have other political and economic agendas.
We would rather not have discussions about the wrongness or rightfulness of hunting, but they seem unavoidable. However, we will step in when they get personal or otherwise out of hand.
More about this later.
I shouldn’t feed the troll, but here goes. This site is the most neutral ones on the internet concerning wildlife issues. Both sides of the hunting debate are allowed to post here, and they do. If you do not like what Dr. Maughan and the other contributors write go elsewhere. There are plenty of pro-hunting, anti-wolf, kill everything sites out there where you and your ilk can talk about all the killin’ that you want.
Although at times, this site takes a decidedly anti hunting stance, I do have to say the hunters are allowed to post and express their thoughts. I would not agree that the site is a sham. For the most part the owner and the moderators, allow differing views to be posted, debated and run their course.
First of all- Read the link that Paul just posted about the two “hunters” that poached the two wolves in Illinois. This happens all the time. When hunters get caught ignoring wildlife protection laws- suddenly they become poachrs and not hunters? The mentality is the same. Whether it’s paranoia or some other affliction- there are people that think they are above the law and can do whatever they want. Pro-wolf people do not kill animals because they don’t like them – hunters do, yet you have labeled pro-wolf and pro- animal people as antis- that’s very strange…. Who is really the anti- you are!
Very little of what hunters do is conservation. You’re alot better at taking wildife like wolves out of ecosystems- and for a short period of time you feel a little less paranoid- until the next wolf or animal that you don’t like comes along…..The problem is compounded when you have states like Idaho and Wyoming- who have a clear political agenda to exterminate wolves and do it in a “lawful” way.
These issues need to be discussed. You need to drop the “entitlement” that you feel. Stop killing animals illegally and maybe the contempt on our side will lessen. Stop the mindless paranoia- that would help too.
There are several people who post comments on this blog that object to hunting. There are also many more people who post who hunt or support hunting. All of the site moderators hunt or have hunted in the past. For myself, I regularly conduct research aimed at better understanding the views of people who care about wildlife issues–including hunters and anglers. Ralph’s post “About Hunting” is a recognition that one does not need to be a hunter to be interested in wildlife or have a voice in wildlife issues. This recognition reflects the public trust doctrine’s notion that wildlife resources belong collectively to all citizens of the state in which they reside–and it creates an inclusive environment for discussion of these issues.
CL I have to admit difficulty in trying to figure out this site also. I read everything I could find before commenting and that post on hunting was all I saw.
From reading posts I’d say it’s a pro wolf site, more intelectual than say Howling for Justice but lopsided none the less. Recently I read a post of the play by play interactions of a Yellowstone pack over a long period written with a whole bunch of adjectives. I doubt you’d ever read a post about wolf culling here written in a similar positive light. There seems to be much less about other large mammals or issues of import in the west. It is what it is.
As on any open forum there are some people who are emotionally opposed other ways of thinking or living. Kind of goes with the territory.
Maybe it is because the interactions of the Yellowstone pack celebrate life, and the beauty of wild animals interacting. What is wrong with that? Do you want a play by play of a wolf being gut shot or suffocating in a trap? I am sure that you can find many other sites that will give you that in a”positive light.”
I don’t think I said anything about the play by play of whatever straw man you care to use. I wouldn’t mind stories about the population changes in various elk and moose herds or wolf packs. Discussing animals in human terms as if one were reporting on the scholastic and sports achievements of your kids strikes me as sort of anthropomorphizing. I mean there’s nothing wrong with it, and if it’s fun why not, but it doesn’t do much for me. I notice too how the death of other animals is casually mentioned. Not sure what makes one animals death a celebration of life and another not.
Also I would be interested in knowing how successful the culling is going. I’m concerned that selling hunting tickets just isn’t going to do it and I’d enjoy reading knowledgeable stories on the subject.
I remember seeing some trapping videos on Howling for Justice that I did find very interesting. The level of knowledge of the habits and abilities of the hunted species that was displayed by the trappers was intriguing. I know that trappers often have a lot of knowledge of their targeted species and trappers might well be the people we end up relying on to return wolves to manageable numbers.
“Typical hypocricy, from those that hide behind the guise of acting as a conservationist.” I don’t follow??
Anytime, someone questions something, in a sense, doesn’t that throw them into an “anti-camp”?
Debates go up and down, seeking equilibrium, just as things in nature work. So, I am guessing that when things go up or down, and depending on which side you are on, will you see “anti” to a challenge in that which you believe??
How is this an anti site through and through? How is it a misrepresentation?
I have always had a problem with dichotomous classification. One it either pro something or anti something. On this forum the terms of choice are “wolf advocates” or “wolf haters.” Though recently the discussion has recognized there is a continiuum (perhaps several continiuums running parallel and intersecting paths in many dimensions, with a recognition that even when discussing a continiuum, individuals cannot just be placed along a line with advocate and hater at each end.
These are complex topics, and it is possible for someone to be a hunter and not be a wolf hater (at least not the type at the far end of that continiuum).
So, CL, stick around, read and commment with some reasoned viewpoints you might learn something, and so might we.
The most voracious eater in Wisconsin
Some interesting “stuff”.
You got that right. Don’t get me wrong, I love deer, and I could watch them all day but there are far too many in this state. In fact I am going to demand that the State of Wisconsin reimburse drivers who strike a deer and damage their car. I mean the numbers are kept high for “hunter opportunity” so it is their fault when I hit one, right?
See how ridiculous that sounds? But that is exactly what happens when a bear dog gets killed by a wolf in Wisconsin. They get a nice hefty check from the state while many of them have an endless supply of dogs from their backyard puppy mills. This is the gift that keeps on giving even though wolves are now off the ESA list.
Recent David Mech testimony about Minnesota proposedwolf season/management.
About a half hour long. Haven’t/don’t have the time to listen to whole thing now, but it looks interesting.
Very interesting interview. Dr. Mech was very objective in his testimony. One thing I perceived was the panel statement of getting back to 1600 wolves in MN, to which Mech more or less said you don’t even want to approach that number.
There is this continued focus on minimum overall population number vs “managing” wolves where they are a concern, and leaving them alone where they are little to no concern. If they are to be a valued animal in terms of hunting, one would expect that a font of continued supply would be important, rather than just knocking down a population.
“If they are to be a valued animal in terms of hunting, one would expect that a font of continued supply would be important, rather than just knocking down a population”
Forgive me Immer for being blunt, but thats the kind of statement that continuely raises the “hackles” of people (me included) who have no problem living with coyotes, wolves, bears, mountain lion, and an assortment of other little creatures (damn those gophers, damn those ground squirrels, DAMN those badgers) who if left alone, might just start balancing out an ecosystem that has been severely damanged and sterilized over the past few decades in the name of…..not hard to fill in the blank.
I live with them and have no problem with them. I am ecstatic that I have wolves around me and how often I can see them, as well as the other fauna of the area. MN has had ~3,000 wolves for about ten years. There are areas where they get themselves into trouble for just being wolves, and other places where they don’t.
My point was, if they are to be hunted, and it is more than obvious that they will, just knocking the population down to a minimum is not managing the population as a continual and valued “resource”.
I have already made my feelings about wolves well known on this site and elsewhere.
I know you’ve made your feelings clear Immer – I look forward to your posts 🙂
But, I don’t hunt and I find it hard to relate to the head hunters, wall hangers and trappers, just waiting for an opportunity to “bag” wildlife.
The same wildlife I’m grateful just to get a glimpse of in the wild.
Good post. Hanging the head of an animal on the wall is something that I have never understood. To me there is something very creepy about having the head of anything with marbles where the eyes once were “staring” at me. It seems so grotesque. I also agree that it is always a treat to see wildlife in their own habitat and not hanging dead on a wall or stuffed.
+++But, I don’t hunt and I find it hard to relate to the head hunters, wall hangers and trappers, just waiting for an opportunity to “bag” wildlife.+++
Though hunting is not high among my priorities, I believe there is a niche for hunting. As for the remainder of your quote, we are on the same page. Add to that the need to pose with the bloody remains of what one has just shot.
I think folks like you, and many others who post here, do have a true non-consumptive appreciation for all wildlife, and possess the wisdom that as the human population continues to grow, wildlife are literally on their last legs.
GLIFWC weighs in on the proposed wolf harvest –
Good for them. I seriously doubt that this wolf hunt will happen anytime soon. Thank you Wisconsin Bear Hunters Assoc……People in Wiconsin are getting hip to you and your “weasel” minions in the Wisc Legislature.
I am doing my part to get out the word about this deplorable group and their real motives. Since this bill came out I have been making phone calls and writing letter after letter. I am not sure how much of a difference it makes, but I am trying. The thing is, I don’t think the idea of a very limited “hunt” is what bothers people. It is the rush to do it, and they ways of killing that are allowed. As I said before, I don’t want wolves to be hunted, and I have to accept that it will eventually happen, but not this way. Suder claims that he consulted with the DNR to write this bill. He is flat out full of $hit! He must have thought that the Bear Hunters Association was the DNR because ether have so much power. The DNR has made it very clear that they were not consulted at all.
That deplorable group and their buddies in SCI just came out against a bill called “Windchill’s Law” that would make intentional mistreatment of an animal a felony. It obviously exempts hunting/trapping, but they are still against it. From the Duluth News Tribune this is what the bill entails:
Adds “great bodily harm” to the animal cruelty provision that covers intentional mutilation, disfigurement or death of an animal.
Clarifies the abandonment statute.
Defines water as it pertains to providing water to animals.
Expands the number of years from five to 10 that a court may order a violator from owning, possessing or training an animal after conviction.
Allows the sentencing court to order a psychological assessment, anger management counseling or treatment, or psychological counseling or treatment.”
And they are against it. Why? For people that claim to “love” their bear dogs so much, and consider them “family” why would this be a problem? Or maybe it is the part about not allowing abusers to have or train dogs for 10 years that they are against. I wonder how much that would eat into their cliental? These people are doing a great job of showing their true colors, and I really hope that society is paying attention.
It tells you something when this Wisc Bear Hunters group is active only in Wisconsin. The talking point is “tradition” and shows their utter disregard for any ethical standards. Much like the Trappers groups and assoc. They enjoy being reviled….. They are paranoid groups, always being attacked, always looking over their shoulder, so they have to rely on their local crony politicians to block tackle and do their dirty work for them. As long as there are the Jeff Siddoways and Scott Suders there will always be politicians who will gladly and willingly sell out for a campaign donation.
SCI’s stance on any animal cruelty statute does not surprise me at all. These are the “wealthy elites” who throw money around Washington DC and expect to get their way. Most hunters you talk to hate them- and it’s easy to see why. These people were out trophy hunting and pushingthe lame rgument about how you need to give animals value to save them.
I read that yesterday, and came away very impressed. I was told by my state reps, assistant that a lawsuit from the tribes is a very real possibility if this monstrosity passes. This state has a really bad recent habit of blowing off the opinion of the tribes (see mining bill). I hope it comes back to bite them square in the ass! I am so glad to see all of the recent blowback toward this bill. That doesn’t mean it won’t pass, but the “authors” are on notice that people are paying attention. My rep’s assistant also noticed that the “authors” of the bill have kept a very low profile since that hearing. He said that Suder especially has taken a huge amount of flak. He also said that in this district he has taken a large number of calls about the bill and all have been against the bill. The stance of the Timber wolf Alliance that I linked yesterday, has it right on all counts. Now I know what your screen name means, too. I figured it was Native American, but it is nice to see that it has local roots.
Article by Rolf Peterson
HSUS rebuts Kobasic
Proposed Wisconsin hunt poorly designed, says UW wolf expert:
I also found out today that this bill is scheduled for an Assembly Natural Resources Committee vote on Wednesday the 22nd. It will likely pass and will move on to the Assembly. I again spoke to a contact in the Legislature and he said that the uproar that this bill is causing is still at a fever pitch. He also told me that some Republicans in the Legislature also have concerns about this bill. There is optimism that this bill is so poorly written that it won’t make it to the Senate. However, this is a Scott Walker controlled state so anything is possible. He also told me that the tribes are indeed very upset about the bill and the possibility of a lawsuit on their end is very likely if this passes. Another concern that was brought up is the fact that the WI Bear Hunters Association knew about the “hearing” a full three days before the general public was notified. They even posted it on their website.
I know it’s beating a dead horse, but thee is a difference between managing wolves, and just reducing the population. The fixation with minimum numbers: 350; 1600; 150 etc are benchmark numbers for recovery. Mech said as much in the above testimony (2/13 in this thread), that you don’t want to approach that number.
I know, but the people behind this bill just don’t get that. These idiots seem to think that they need to get numbers down as quickly as possible through any means. Did they not learn anything from the last round of lawsuits? The guy I spoke with today from the legislature told me that the “authors” of this bill are so arrogant that they think this bill will make them immune from lawsuits or federal intervention. They just don’t get it.
There are 5 Democratic US senators from the affected states, some of whom have promised to do legislatively anything that is delayed judicially. They have two very sympathetic Dems in Montana too. The days of lawsuits are long gone.
I was referring to state level lawsuits as well. The previous “rider” rubbed many the wrong way. Don’t be so sure that they will get their way again. The Lummis rider failed for those very reasons. Obama has already pissed off a good portion of his environmentalist base, so it would not be a good idea for him to sign any more anti-enviormental legislation especially during an election year. The arrogance from you anti-predator types is astounding and it will eventually backfire.
Another insightful comment there Somsai
Actually, the comment was very insightful, as Franken among the others is all but rubber stamping wolf legislation. If the three states would just allow their respective DNR’s to come up with insightful management plans, as the MN plan has been proposed, I don’t think there would be much wailing, on either side.
Reduction in population is not necessarily management.
“They have two very sympathetic Dems in Montana too”
When you think about though somsai (and be aware, it could change the future of politics as we know it)
Are they Dems or are they really Republicans in Dem’s clothing? 🙂
Recently Tester had both Franken and Amy Klobuchar over for a private dinner on some of that meat he lugs to DC, Tester’s wife cooked. I could only think of a couple of things they’d want to discuss at length in a relaxed atmosphere. Make no mistake, Baucus and Tester are both very much Democrats, western Dems are different. Think Gabby Giffords.
Franken has been extremely quiet since being elected, intent on being the work horse not the show horse. No doubt they all have private polsters who ask questions to divine public attitude unlike some of the public polling I’ve read lately that is done to prove a point or reinforce an opinion.
None of these canines in any of these states are in any danger of disappearing. Ecologically they are a side show to truly important things like global warming. Just imagine, under the current ESA wolves would never have been listed in any of these states.
Time to work together and drop the rhetoric.
Work together for what? To allow special interests to kill these animals in any manner that they want? In the Wisconsin bill they allow dogs, night hunting, shooting from the road, trapping, unlimited killing on private property, and a 4 1/2 month season. We should just step aside and allow this to happen? Idaho wants to use live bait, and shoot from para-gliders. Groups in Montana want to pay bounties. Wolves are killed left and right by the SSS crowd. Is this what you call working together? I would say that these actions certainly point to this canine disappearing in these states, especially in Wisconsin, Idaho, and Wyoming. If this is what you consider “working together” I would hate to see what you consider working against. The only rhetoric that needs to be dropped is the rhetoric from the fear mongering antis that blame wolves for every problem they have from unemployment to hemorrhoids. If you want people to work together this rhetoric and persecution of this animal needs to end. How many animals have been killed this ferociously just months after removal from the endangered species list?
“Time to work together and drop the rhetoric.”
I’m all for that, but there’s been no rhetoric in the testimony of the scientists who’ve spoken against AB502. They’ve presented considered and logical statements detailing the provisions of the legislation that will seriously impede ongoing wolf management – and some very thorough analyses of the lack of public support for certain types of wolf harvest practices.
“The days of lawsuits are long gone.”
Maybe for lawsuits against delisting – but now that this animal is under state management there are any number of avenues for lawsuits at the state level.
The “amended” version of AB 502 was just posted by Suder’s office. The only changes are the deletion of the “unlimited” wolf killing by property owners, change in funding source for bear hounder dog deaths, cutting the license price in half, and eliminating the 4 zone maximum. Other than that all of the other controversial elements remain.
This bill is a disaster not just for wildlife advocates, but for wildlife managers as well. If this passes expect major blowback from the citizens of this state. This bill only benefits a narrow group of special interests and spits in the face of the rest of us. It is inevitable that there will be wolf hunting in Wisconsin, but this is not the way for it to happen.
There is no logical justification for the provisions in this bill. Somebody thinks there’s a political advantage in making wolves an issue where they haven’t been before. To be frank, I think the groups that are pushing this agenda overestimate their political advantage–and the predator policy pendulum swings again…
Then why are they doing this? Shouldn’t they be happy that the state now has control over wolves? Why go to these extremes? The “authors” of this bill let a group that consists of 3000 members statewide dictate policy. What do they hope to gain? They are pandering to a vocal minority in the northern part of the state and are ignoring the concerns in the rest of the state where the majority of the population lives. But because a Republican proposed it they will likely all vote for it no matter how extreme it is.
From what I can tell, Suder is the Republican son of dairy farmers who represents a largely rural district where agriculture overlaps with wolf habitat. Pushing anti-wolf legislation might make him rivaled in Madison, but he’ll be the hero of the rural conservatives in the district he represents whether it passes or fails.
Suder is also proposed AB301, which would make it a requirement for the DNR to seek legislative committee approval for all P/R project funds. My understanding is that this was in direct response to the DNR’s granting a project that sought to understand the effects of climate change.
“Under current law, this state receives federal funds under the Federal Aid in
Wildlife Restoration Act, commonly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act (federal
act), to assist this state in implementing certain wildlife restoration projects. Under current law, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is authorized and directed to perform any acts necessary to establish cooperative wildlife restoration projects in compliance with the federal act. This bill prohibits DNR from expending any federal funds received under the federal act unless it first notifies the Joint Committee on Finance (JCF) in writing of the project or activity for which it proposes to expend those funds. Under the bill, JCF may schedule a meeting to review DNR’s proposal within a specified period of time. If JCF does not schedule such a meeting within that time, DNR may expend the funds as proposed. If JCF does schedule a meeting, then DNR may not expend the funds until the project or activity is approved by JCF.”
Suder also freaked out a couple of years ago when the DNR partnered with the HSUS for an ad campaign reminding people not to mess with baby wild animals. This was something that was quite personal to me because I help rehabilitators frequently with injured or orphaned wildlife.
He partners himself with two of the most reviled “sportsmen” groups in the state (WI Bear Hunters Assn. and SCI) yet is offended when the state partners with a pro-animal group on a common sense measure. Everyone blames Scott Walker for the insane crap in this state, but I think this guy might be more dangerous.
Many years ago HSUS president Wayne Pacelle was honest when he made the point that the HSUS would support legislation to ban all sport trophy hunting if they could. They have been on the front line at exposing the abuse and hypocrisy in the hunting community….make no mistake about it- thrill killers are deathly afraid of the HSUS- now you see every issue the HSUS is involved in the NRA and SCI are there to counter…..SCI’s latest stance on the animal abuse bill shows these hunting groups true colors- they could care less about animals, unless it aligns with their “hunting priorities”
I know this all too well. Suder is the ultimate shill for these groups. He attempts to give them everything that they want and doesn’t care in the slightest what others think.
I have been very impressed with the outcry that this bill is generating from both hunters and non-hunters. It is only going to get worse once they ram it through the Natural Resources Committee tomorrow. I really hope that the Assembly and Senate see this bill for what it really is. There is so much controversy over the mining bill in this state they many not even get to it before the session ends on March 15th. This legislature has already extremely weakened wetland protections, wants to approve an environmentally damaging open pit mining bill, and now wants to slaughter wolves. What is next? Are they going to sell the air we breathe to the highest bidder?
My representative is a hunter and he thinks this bill is one of the most poorly written pieces of legislation that he has seen. He assured me that he will vote against it. But the Natural Resources Committee is stacked with GOP anti-wildlife types so it will pass easily. My legislative contact is optimistic that the wolf bill will fail before it reaches the Senate or in the Senate. I hope he is right, or lawsuits are going to be the only way to stop this lunacy.
“Role of predators, winter weather, and habitat on white-tailed deer fawn survival in the south-central Upper Peninsula of Michigan”
Three year study conducted by Mississippi State U…So far (2009, 2010, and up till Aug. 2011) wolves taking a back seat to coyotes and bobcats:
Coyotes – 22 fawns, 7 adult deer
Bobcats – 10 fawns, 1 adult
Wolves – 3 adults, 4 fawns
Here’s the link to study:
Thank you, Moose.
There’s a lot research projects to peruse on that site. Most of them appear to be very practical and address real issues in real time ~ at least the few that I had time to glance over in the last hour!
How can any sane person wave off the importance and necessity of scientific inquiry?
Well this sucks:
Nearly 300 elephants slain in Cameroon for ivory, government minister confirms
One park official, Bouba Jadi, told CNN the deaths are worsening the situation for Cameroon’s already threatened elephant populations. According to official estimates, there are between 1,000 and 5,000 elephants in Cameroon.
More “amendments offered for Wisconsin wolf bill:
They eliminate the night hunting, unlimited killing on private property and shorten the season by a couple of months. Of course the hunting with dogs, trapping, and shooting from the road provisions are still there. Maybe the heat is starting to get to these people.
I just noticed that these were offered by a Democrat, so they will probably get shot down.
The Wisconsin Assembly Natural Resources Committee just rammed through the wolf killing bill, AB 502. All but one of the common sense amendments proposed by the Democrats were shot down. That one was about requiring the in person registration of killed wolves. The only other change is the elimination of the unlimited wolf killing by private property owners. On top of that most of the spineless Democrats on the committee that complained about the bill still voted for it. Additionally, one of the “co-authors,” Rep. Rivard, made the claim that no one is talking about reducing the population to 350. That is a flat out lie. His “co-author” Rep. Suder came out numerous times in the past few weeks and said that 350 is “where we need to be.”
This bill is a flat out disaster and will tie up state management in the courts for years to come. These people are okay with a 4 1/2 month season. During today’s vote it was revealed that Suder “doesn’t trust the DNR” to set a season. What a vote of confidence! Wolves will be hunted 24 hours a day for 135 days during breeding season, by dogs, traps, at night, shooting from the road (the only animal that this is allowed for),and bear hounders will still be reimbursed for dogs killed by wolves.
Now this monstrosity moves on to the assembly where it is also likely to be rubber stamped. And after seeing the lack of backbone by the Democrats on the committee, I am now not so sure that this bill will eventually fail. The courts may be the only way to stop this thing.
If anyone can stomach it here is the tape of the vote:
Look for February 22 Natural Resources Committee. Make sure you listen to all the whining from the Republicans about how it was “getting late.”
Wisconsin won’t be killing wolves anytime soon. The tribes or one of those “animal rights activist groups” will sue…..
I was flat out lied to by the office of my representative. I was told just Monday that he did not support the bill, and would not be voting for it. The two faced SOB voted for it. Even the Democrats are selling out the wolves in this state. I am so disgusted right now.
On top of that one of the sell out Democrats tells the committee during the hearing that they were all welcome to come to his place and “shoot some ducks.” He also said that he hopes to get a wolf tag and hunt them. This was the guy who proposed most of the amendments that were shot down by the GOP. With “allies” like these who needs enemies?
I called every one of the committee members and some of the staff were downright rude. Many of the staff members did not even know what the provisons of the bill were . These legislators were dead set on passing this bill. I would not count on someone else, like the tribes, to fight or take care of this horrible bill. Everyone needs to be calling, writing editorials and making a big noise. Nothing is getting better.