To the editor,
This is an open letter to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary-designee Adam Payne.
We want to thank you and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for the opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed wolf management plan.
Right out of the gate, we have a major concern with the fact that the proposed plan has no prescribed population goal.
When wolves were removed from the endangered species list in January of 2021, the DNR showed just how unprepared – or unwilling – they were to have a healthy and successful hunting season. They sat on their hands and slow-rolled a hunt under the guise of not having an updated plan, ultimately being forced by a judge to adhere to state law and hold the season in February.
In the summer of 2021, the Natural Resources Board approved a 2021-22 fall harvest quota of 300 wolves, only to encounter yet another lawsuit from special interest groups on the left. These groups prevailed, with a Dane County judge requiring the promulgation of a permanent rule and an updated wolf management plan.
Now, we have a proposed wolf management plan that has no prescribed population goal, opening the door for lawsuit after lawsuit regarding future harvest quotas set by the Natural Resources Board. We see right through this – the whole state can see right through this.
This isn’t a partisan issue. Both U.S. senators from the great state of Wisconsin are in favor of the state controlling our wolf population, your employees on the ground are in favor of the state controlling our wolf population, and people all across Wisconsin are in favor of the state controlling our wolf population.
The blatant disregard to a prescribed population goal falls in line with that of a judge from Dane County – completely out of touch with how the overpopulation of wolves has negatively impacted families, farmers, deer hunting, tourism, property values and communities throughout our state.
We stand with the 36 counties from all across Wisconsin who have passed resolutions in favor of setting a wolf population goal of 350 or less, and request that the department take this under serious consideration prior to moving forward with this rule.
Finally, we would be remiss if we didn’t include a request to the DNR asking that the department work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to delist the grey wolf. The size of the wolf population does not warrant their placement on the endangered species list, and no solid data has been provided to back this decision made by a judge in California. The task of managing Wisconsin’s wolves should be returned to Wisconsin, where the DNR can enforce a strong and science-based management plan for the safety of our citizens and the wellbeing of our rich natural resources.
State Sens. Mary Felzkowski, Joan Ballweg, Julian Bradley, Dan Feyen, André Jacque, Howard Marklein, Romaine Quinn, Rob Stafsholt, Duey Stroebel, Patrick Testin and Cory Tomczyk, and state Reps. Rob Swearingen, Ty Bodden, Robert Brooks, Calvin Callahan, Alex Dallman, James Edming, Chanz Green, Rick Gundrum, Nate Gustafson, Jeff Mursau, Treig Pronschinske, Nik Rettinger, Donna Rozar, Angie Sapik, John Spiros, Rob Summerfield, Paul Tittl, Ron Tusler