We will learn later this year as the WI DNR moves towards 'managing' another legislatively-mandated wolf hunt whether "Follow the Science" carries more weight in Wisconsin conservation than a paper bumpersticker.
Hunting and hidden deaths led to estimated 30% reduction in Wisconsin’s wolf population
These findings show that agencies and laws which already made hunting in Wisconsin a permissive national outlier through the use of dogs had failed they very wolf 'management and protection' responsibilities which Trump officials gave the states and announced a week before the November, 2020 election:
Trump Administration Returns Management and Protection of Gray Wolves to States and Tribes Following Successful Recovery Efforts
The obstacles to scientific treatment of wolf issues in Wisconsin are ideological, substantial and intentional.
Opinion: Wisconsin’s brutal wolf hunt shows hunters have too much sway over conservation policy
* And don't forget that the authorities who watched the 2020 Wisconsin wolf slaughter obliterate their state-established kill quota -
WI wolf kill quotas became goals. How convenient.
- had done much the same before, as I'd noted in a 2014 summary::
WI DNR official hints wolf quota isn't really a quota
* And if science were informing state policy-making, Wisconsin would be grateful that wolves help control spreading chronic deer wasting disease that threatens the traditional and economically-important state deer hunting season rather than deploying the cruelest policies imaginable to snare and shoot wolves by the hundreds:
It is beyond mere irony that despite wolves being called nature's 'first responders' to the chronic wasting disease that threatens the state's herd and an annual hunt which the DNR values statewide at $1.4 billion, the agency on Friday, a) closed the comment period on its plans for upcoming wolf killing seasons mandated by the state legislature, and, b) separately announced by email, below, that it has added another Wisconsin county to those already impacted by deer chronic wasting disease.
* And as I noted in a broader discussion Monday, the manipulations which obstruct science in Wisconsin policy-making are fueled by willful and dangerous distortions of language that enable a damaging, cascading diminution of science, honesty, facts and fair play, such as -
...the notion propagandized through amber-waves-of-grain word-smithing that hunters "harvest" wolves - while those particular 'hunters' in fact released truckloads of dogs that chased and snared hundreds of wolves in leg traps before receiving kill-shots to the head - pregnant females among them:“These animals were killed using packs of dogs, snares and leg-hold traps,” Kitty Block, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, said on Tuesday. “It was a race to kill these animals in the most cruel ways.”Note also that the next wolf 'harvest' mandated by a state law adopted by conservative legislators who these days are little interest in conservation is being overseen by that DNR policy board whose chairman is refusing to give up his seat though his Walker-appointed tenure has officially expired.
Which adds a new chapter to the Wisconsin right's penchant for power-abusing-and-grabbing at the expense of tradition, science and and democratic behavior.
Photo Caption: Gray wolf. Credit: Gary Kramer / USFWS