To the Editor:
This wolf season (Act 169) is not a matter of anti-hunting. It’s anti-Act 169 and the way it happened: undemocratically with dishonesty, foolishness, and arrogance.
Decency and wisdom say it was wrong to secretly draft the bill (Wisconsin’s Wolf Management Act) and not consult Wisconsin’s wolf manager. Leaving the wolf manager out of wolf managing, legislators Suder and Rivard “consulted” with bear hunters, mismanaging wolves. Carelessness and hostile rules make it clear that politicians and hunters were in control.
Other longtime experts, the public and Indian tribes were secretly shut out.The federal government and Department of the Interior has named “Tribes” and “state wildlife professionals” as wolf managers (scientists – not amateurs).
Tribes are considered co-managers but were shamefully disrespected. Wanting to protect wolves, they were disgustingly offered wolves to kill. Wolves that were probably factored in when figuring out the state’s wolf kill quota. The state never intended to sit down with tribes, working out something they could live with – maintaining good relations.
“Allowing” public comments after the fact is meaningless. No “we the people” in dictatorial-style government.
Value of wolves is ignored, such as strengthening deer health, suppressing chronic wasting disease, maintaining biodiversity by causing deer to move more – avoiding overbrowsing of the landscape. Deer have more than doubled since wolf migration. (800 wolves eat about 13,600 yearly – a meager amount).
Wolves perform cascading natural functions man cannot do.
No expert involvement is detrimental to wildlife. Do we want bear hound hunters managing wolves (wildlife they resent) or politicians (ignorant about species’ preservation)?
In published surveys, the public would accept a “sustainable” wolf season “designed to reduce depredation.” Selective population reduction targeting problem wolves. Rules of Act 169 “risk an unsustainable harvest,” jeopardizing the population.
A statewide indiscriminate hunt “does not address depredation” and instead attends to haphazard recreation and revenge.
This wolf season relies on deception.
How can wolves be a great human threat when a human has never been attacked in the lower 48? So, fairytale stories are spread – nothing reported or verified – though anyone can call authorities for help with liberal non-lethal and lethal wolf control methods. Wolves are rarely seen and many people mistake coyotes for wolves.
One pet was depredated last year. Livestock depredation is very localized, involving a small amount of farms (.57) and 14 percent of wolf packs. Last year, verified wolf livestock depredation cost $15,500 – payment the public supports. But we paid more – for “alleged” and hound depredation – payments the public rejects due to loose rules enabling dishonesty (note: coyotes depredated livestock in some investigations blamed on wolves – no compensation is available for coyote kills).
Total amount for livestock depredation payments is deceiving. Payments are made for “missing calves,” blamed on wolves – alleged, with no evidence necessary. “Two farms skewed the numbers” for missing calves last year, a number that is normally zero to 25 jumped to 257 (more than all past missing calves for 28 years) costing nearly $200,000. Calf numbers do not glaringly fluctuate and inventories are self-made, by livestock owners (this suspiciously inflated wolf damage year comes right before introduction of a wolf season bill).
Those with poor animal husbandry practices receive payments for depredation that could have been prevented.
Payments are made for hounds killed, usually when invading quiet forest wolf sites (with wolf pups) while bear hunting or training. So far nearly $500,000. Bear hunting has obvious risks – the danger to hounds is greater from bears attacks- with no compensation paid.
“The majority of the wolf population is not causing problems.”
Blame not wolves, but legislators and bear hound hunters for favored legislation, easily fraudulent compensation payments, dishonesty, controversy, and finally litigation.
It could have gone smoothly, with real wolf managers creating a sustainable wolf season acceptable to the majority.
Fond du Lac