Thursday, January 21, 2021

Friday WI wolf hunt meeting has 8 a.m. Thursday comment deadline

[Updated, 6:45 p.m.] Heads-up, Wisconsin conservationists: The Wisconsin DNR's oversight Natural Resource Board is holding this Friday an online hearing about the reintroduction of a wolf hunt.

The country's gray wolves recently had their federal protections stripped away and states were freed to bring back wolf killing under their own rules

Below is Zoom meeting registration information for the hearing, and please note that the official notice establishes an 8 a.m. Thursday morning deadline - that's tomorrow! - for the submission of comments, as this notice circulated by a coalition of wildlife preservationists points out:

We have just learned that the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board will be holding a meeting on Friday of this week to discuss a potential wolf hunting and trapping season–as soon as this month. 

This condensed rule-making process shuts out public input, ignores science, and could result in wolf hunting and trapping during breeding season. 

Please attend the meeting online and speak out in opposition if you are able.

Please contact Laurie Ross, NRB Liaison, at 608-267-7420 or by email at to register to testify at this meeting. 

If you cannot attend in-person, please submit a written comment opposing this rushed effort to begin killing wolves in Wisconsin.

Submit your comment online

Thank you for your commitment to Wisconsin's wildlife and wild places. 


The Endangered Species Coalition 


Recent items from this blog with history about these issues are here, and here:

Good to see a coalition of organizations challenging the outgoing Trump administration's heavy-handed, heavily-ideological and science-free removal of endangered species protection for the country's grey wolves.  

The action was in response to the Jan. 4 delisting of the species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which allowed state agencies to resume management of wolves, including the possibility for hunting, trapping and other lethal control measures. 

Wisconsin is killing its wolves


Here is a statement of opposition posted by Midwest Environmental Advocates, which reads, in part:

In order for state governments like Wisconsin to prove their capability to manage wolves in the absence of federal protections, our state must first demonstrate a strong commitment to science-based and representative wildlife management in keeping with Wisconsin’s public trust obligations. 

At the present time, our state is in no position to meet this threshold. 

The biological and social science underlying Wisconsin’s 1999 Wolf Management Plan is critically outdated. Wisconsin citizens and our state’s scientists have yet to be afforded the opportunity to provide substantive input. 
Consultation with the Tribes, required by law, has not been done.


Below is a letter in opposition to a wolf hunt sent January 12, 2021 by the Timber Wolf Alliance to the Wisconsin Legislature's Assembly and Senate Committees on Sporting Heritage: 

Re: Senate Joint Informational Hearing on 2021 Wolf Harvesting Season

The Timber Wolf Alliance (TWA) would like to comment on the potential to hold a wolf harvest in Wisconsin this winter. TWA has been a supporter of wolf conservation in Wisconsin since 1987. TWA has supported the federal delisting of wolves, and has not opposed the public harvest of wolves. But TWA believes any wolf harvest should be based on sound science, be done in a representative and open process, and be sensitive to cultural concerns, including addressing concerns of Native Americans.

The recovery of the gray wolf has been a very successful wildlife conservation program for the state. We are proud to be part of that successful conservation effort, and hope all future management including public harvest of wolves, continues to build on that success.

Rushing into a premature harvest without taking all the steps that are normally used to set harvests for other wildlife species such as bears, deer, and bobcats, would undermine sound conservation of wolves.  Such harvest plans would not allow adequate use of sound biological and social science. We need to demonstrate sound conservation of the Wisconsin wolf population to avoid the back and forth federal listing/delisting that has plagued wolf management in Wisconsin for the last 18 years.

Starting a wolf harvest in mid-winter would potentially disrupt breeding activity, precipitate pack dissolution, and increase the negative effects that a harvest could have on the wolf population. These mid-winter disruptions to wolf behavior might also disrupt the ability of wolf trackers to obtain reasonable counts of wolves.

There is no logical and scientifically sound reason to start a wolf harvest this winter. Depredation control trapping by USDA-Wildlife Service will be the main tool to control wolves depredating on livestock and pets.  There is little scientific evidence that harvests have any impact on levels of hound depredations, which vary from year to year. The deer herd is doing well across northern and central Wisconsin, and there is no scientific evidence a wolf harvest would increase deer hunting opportunities.  

TWA recognizes and accepts that a public harvest of wolves will occur in fall 2021, and encourages a careful and scientifically sound quota setting process to establish a wolf harvest for the state.  Unfortunately the state wolf plan that should inform such a quota setting process is now 22 years old. Until a new plan is developed, the Timber Wolf Alliance encourages a conservative harvest system to maintain the wolf population near current levels.

Starting a pre-mature wolf harvest this winter represents poor use of this public trust resource. TWA hopes the legislature supports Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources efforts to carefully plan a fall wolf harvest and update the state wolf plan to represent the best available science.  Sound conservation of wolves in Wisconsin needs to be carefully planned and should not be rushed.

For more information and please go to our web site Timber Wolf Alliance - Northland College


Alan Brew                       


Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute  

Adrian Wydeven

Chair of Advisory Council  

Timber Wolf Alliance             

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