Sunday, December 28, 2014

Gaps in Journal Sentinel pro-wolf hunt stance

Journal Sentinel associate editorial page editor Ernie Franzen wants the courts to again allow wolf hunting in Wisconsin.

There are gaps in Franzen's argument:
"It seems to me that a state-managed hunt with quotas is a reasonable check on [wolf population] growth, albeit with some changes in the state law. 
But the quotas set by state officials have been exceeded in all three seasons since wolf hunting was re-authorized by the Legislature in 2012, and the Wisconsin DNR has let the quotas it announced be broken this year even though it was clear that another overkill was coming

Does this suggest that the DNR takes its quota-setting role seriously?
Wisconsin is killing its wolves

Franzen points out that the DNR is close to releasing an updated Wisconsin wolf management plan.

But the Journal Sentinel last fall ran an op-ed disclosing that the DNR had drastically remade its citizen wolf policy-making stakeholders group by removing nearly all those opposed to wolf hunting, leaving pro-hunting members of the DNR's selection with lopsided representation:
This year, the long-standing Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Wolf Science and legislatively mandated Stakeholders Committees were wiped out by order of the DNR secretary. In their place, the Wolf Advisory Committee was created, membership "by invitation only" from the DNR Secretary. Twenty-five of the 26 members are wolf removal agents. 
Meanwhile, members of the Bear Hunters' Association instigated resolutions to cull Wisconsin wolves in 18 counties -- the same bear hunters who were instrumental in the expedited implementation of wolf hunting and trapping legislation, mandating the use of dogs on wolves, even though the majority of Wisconsin residents oppose the use of dogs on wolves, as demonstrated both in polls and in the Conservation Congress Hearings.
Although the Wolf Advisory Committee may have considered data presented by University of Wisconsin faculty, who have been barred by the DNR secretary from sitting on wildlife committees, the membership has not followed scientifically informed recommendations. They rejected the well-defended need for refuge areas. They also rejected the need for more conservative quotas. Additionally, they have rejected findings in social science, specifically the research of Dr. Adrian Treves and the Carnivore Coexistence Lab that indicates hunting does not "increase social tolerance."
DNR Secretary Stepp confirmed that the membership change was made to remove opposition.

Does that sound like the DNR takes citizen input seriously?

Wisconsin wildlife isn't owned by hunters or their lobbies. Wildlife belongs to all the people of the state; DNR's job as trustee is to oversee it in the broadest public interest, not to hand over undo influence to a few people interested in running up a kill.

Franzen wants to give Wisconsin officials the benefit of the doubt in this matter.

I don't think they've earned it, because in several key enforcement and management arenas, the DNR has turned a blind to science and environmental protection.

Franzen wants the court to revisit the ruling that ended the hunt.

No doubt the DNR will do just that.


Anonymous said...

What Franzen doesn't realize is that DNR now stands for Does Not Regulate! Thus they don't follow any mandates or guidelines. They simply ignore the rules and do the bidding of the hunters because that's where the campaign money comes from!

Anonymous said...

"gaps" at mjs?

Dude. these are not bugs -- they are features of the state's biggest propaganda rag.

When will you admit it -- record clearly shows -- milwaukee journal sentinel is not a legitimate source of information!

James Rowen said...

Would you like efforts to correct the record and narratives abandoned?