Saturday, November 11, 2017

Joel Kleefisch facts needed in sandhill crane story

I really like this Journal Sentinel piece on the sandhill crane revival in Wisconsin, though these brief lines pretty far into the story - - 
In Wisconsin, a similar effort to resume hunting sandhill cranes has so far been unsuccessful...there has been a significant pushback from people who don’t regard cranes as a game bird and haven’t for many, many years. So far, that pushback has been strong enough so legislators have backed off.” 
- - need an infusion of facts about State Rep. Joel Kleefisch, (R)the Wisconsin Legislature's leading hunter.

So start here:

Looking for a way to get more headlines than spouse Rebecca who's facing recall as Scott Walker's Lt. Gov., State Rep. Joel Kleefisch, (R-Oconomocow) settles on a proposal to kill sandhill cranes.
Besides, he says, Sandhill cranes are flying steaks ready to get bagged and cooked. 
Kleefisch said he wanted to help farmers whose corn was being poached by the cranes...
In an interview with the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kleefisch said the birds were good eatin': "Many call (sandhill cranes) the rib-eye of the sky," Kleefisch said. 
And end here:
State Rep. Joel Kleefisch, (R-Oconomwoc) indicated his plan to have the state establish a sandhill crane hunt is dead, according to an email from his office received today...
The Journal Sentinel had this to report about the issue
Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc) said that the sandhill crane population has grown to the point where the birds are causing excessive damage to farmers' cornfields. He is proposing a hunting season to control the crane population. 
But a September 6, 2011 summary memo among records released to me last week under the state open records law by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about the plan, and other topics, said this about Kleefisch and the proposed crane hunt:
*  His interest was motivated by his personal hunting experience and his work with several hunting groups.
*  Agricultural damage was not his primary reason for proposing this legislation.
Media reports about Kleefisch's plan had emphasized its relationship to crop damage from cranes.

Here are some examples:

From the Associated Press:

MADISON (AP) - To bird lovers, sandhill cranes are majes­tic creatures whose cries hearken back to prehistoric times. To others, they're the ribeye of the sky.
A Wisconsin lawmaker quietly has proposed a bill that would let hunters blast the birds to stop them from chewing up farmers' cornfields. 
There was this example from a local paper in Kleefisch's Waukesha County district: 
Kleefisch: Cranes are the 'ribeye of the sky' 
A local legislator, prompted by concerns from farmers and sportsmen, is hoping to establish a hunting season for sandhill cranes...

At issue are farmers who point to the damage done to crops from the birds.
Another example, from Great Lakes Echo: 
Meanwhile Wisconsin state lawmaker Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc, is proposing a sandhill crane hunting season. His bill is a response to farmer’s complaints about the birds eating corn and other seeds. 
But "agricultural damage was not his primary reason for proposing [it]...," according to a DNR meeting summary prepared by a lead staffer after DNR personnel met with Kleefisch and his about the proposal, records show. 
Picture of Representative Joel Kleefisch

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