Thursday, July 22, 2021

DNR Wolf Committee meets Thursday, 9 a.m. Access info. below.

The Wisconsin DNR's Wolf Management Plan Committee (WMPC) public meeting will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday, July 22.

It's a public, streamed meeting; access details are below.

You may remember that devastating new data about wolf poaching and the impacts of Wisconsin's sanctioned yet-brutal February wolf 'harvest'-cum-slaughter were recently published and forwarded to the DNR.

It will be interesting to see if that report's data has had the impact it deserves as another hunt looms by state law later this year:

About 100 additional wolves died over the winter in Wisconsin as a result of the delisting of grey wolves under the Endangered Species Act, alongside the 218 wolves killed by licensed hunters during Wisconsin’s first public wolf hunt, according to new research.

The combined loss of 313 to 323 wolves represents a decline in the state’s wolf population of between 27% and 33% between April 2020 and April 2021. Researchers estimate that a majority of these additional, uncounted deaths are due to something called cryptic poaching, where poachers hide evidence of illegal killings.

The findings are the first estimate of Wisconsin’s wolf population since the public hunt in February, which ended early after hunters exceeded the quota of 119 wolves within a few days. These population estimates can help the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) prepare for the next legally mandated wolf hunt this fall....

University of Wisconsin–Madison environmental studies scientists Adrian Treves, Francisco Santiago-Ávila and Karann Putrevu performed the research, which was published July 5 in the journal PeerJ.

Note that some of the same researchers have written about the need for science to intersect with public trust wildlife stewardship:

We review the role of public trust principles in the restoration and preservation of controversial species. In so doing we argue for the essential roles of scientists from many disciplines concerned with biological diversity and its conservation. We look beyond species endangerment to future generations' interests in sustainability, particularly non-consumptive uses.... 
Without public trust principles, future trustees will seldom prevail against narrow, powerful, and undemocratic interests. Without conservation informed by public trust thinking predator populations will face repeated cycles of eradication and recovery. Our conclusions have implications for the many subfields of the biological sciences that address environmental trust assets from the atmosphere to aquifers.    

I have excerpted information from DNR webpages and announcements about the Thursday meeting, and I urge you to observe the meeting:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will hold the first of four Wolf Management Plan Committee meetings on Thursday, July 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The meeting will be held virtually, and the public is invited to attend and observe the proceedings. No pre-registration required.

There are two ways to join the call:

  • Use this link to join a livestream of the meeting, or
  • Join by phone (312-626-6799, Meeting ID: 817 6864 6459) 

Event Agenda: 

Time                     Item

9:00 - 9:15 a.m. -  Welcome and project overview (Randy Johnson)
9:15 – 9:35 a.m. -  Introductions – Committee members (30 seconds each)
9:35 – 9:50 a.m. -  WMPC timeline; Plan for the day (Raj Kamal)
9:50 – 10:20 a.m. - Summary of public input – presentation, Q&A (Ben Beardmore)
10:20 – 10:30 a.m. - Break
10:30 - 11:00 a.m. - Overview of the current wolf management program (Randy Johnson)
11:00 – 11:30 a.m. - Review prework #1 (Raj Kamal)
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. - Brainstorming – issues and concerns (WMPC)
12:00 – 12:30 p.m. - Lunch
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. - Continue Brainstorming
1:30 – 1:45 p.m. - Break
1:45 – 2:30 p.m. - Continue Brainstorming
2:30 – 2:50 p.m. - Reflections on how the day went (WMPC)
2:50 – 3:00 p.m. - Conclusion and next steps – pre-work, next meeting (Randy Johnson)


Photo: Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS

Photo Caption: Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS

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