One of the things most concerning to wildlife advocates is the idea that recreational hunting, hounding, and trapping are views as “heritage” and “tradition” in many parts of the country. Nowhere is this justification for wholesale killing more prevalent than in Wisconsin. Wildlife killers and exploiters have long duped the public into believing that they are the real “conservationists” and that if they didn’t kill wildlife they would die of “starvation and disease.” They also like to boast about how much money they put into “conservation” and how they fund the state fish and wildlife agencies that cater to their every whim. The myth that killing is conservation has become so deep seeded in our society that it is very difficult to change those false perceptions.
For an example of how pro-killing organizations have duped the general public into believing that they exist for the benefit of wildlife look no further than the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. On the surface such a benign name would make you think that this organization was pro-wildlife. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is how the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation describes itself on their website:
The Federation’s education focus is on the protection of fish and wildlife and their habitat and in the teaching of skills including hunting, fishing, trapping and other outdoor recreational pursuits. Our efforts are largely focused on youth education. We operate the MacKenzie Environmental Center in Poynette, grant scholarships for future resource professionals at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, provide wildlife educational trunks to schools for K-12 education, send kids to summer conservation camps and implement the National Wildlife Federation’s Schoolyard and Backyard Habitat programs.
We also are very active in promoting strong conservation policies before the Wisconsin Legislature and the Department of Natural Resources. The prime areas of conservation policy that we focus on are the protection of fish and wildlife habitat, the protection of public access to lands and water for outdoor recreation, assuring the right to hunt, fish and trap and the pursuit of other outdoor recreational activities and the furtherance of conservation education with an emphasis on youth education. We strongly believe that conservation policies should be scientifically, professionally and factually based, not politically based.
We are the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Together we promote the protection and conservation of our natural resources on a national level with the US. Congress and federal agencies.
Of course those “protection and conservation” ideals seem to end when it comes to wolves. From this article:
Ralph Fritsch, of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, said the quota was too low and will have no significant effect in moving closer to goal.
“The quota was derived by averaging the preferred harvest level of the 20 members of the committee. That is far from a scientific approach,” Fritsch said. He wanted a quota of 250 wolves.
This “goal” that Fritsch is referring to is the ancient number of “350” adopted in the 1999 Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan. Of course there is no scientific basis for this “350” number. The number was derived as a “goal” that would allow the state to start “managing” wolves once removed from Endangered Species Act protections. Wolf hating groups and individuals like the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and their representatives have come to this strange conclusion that this “350” number is somehow the maximum number of wolves allowed in Wisconsin. Even more disturbing is that the Wisconsin DNR is doing nothing to counter those claims. At the same Natural Resources Board meeting that Fritsch made his comments the chief lobbyist of the most vocal anti-wolf groups in the state, Bob Welch, said this:
Bob Welch, of the Hunters Rights Coalition, said the DNR’s job is to manage wildlife and has to move the population closer to the goal of 350. He said he does not hate wolves. He objected to people from southern Wisconsin saying that people in northern Wisconsin have to accept living with wolves.
Mind you that the FOUNDER of the Hunters Rights Coalition, Greg Kazmierski, sits on the Natural Resources Board. Conflict of interest? Maybe? But apparently not in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. But back to the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. This group pretends to be all about “science” and “conservation” when in reality they are motivated by the same anti-wolf hate that consume the Welch lobbied groups. Take for example bear hounder and anti-wolf zealot, Laurie Groskopf. Groskopf sits on the boards of not only the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, but also the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association. Not coincidentally both of these groups sit on the hunter, trapper, and hounder dominated DNR Wolf Advisory Committee. In fact Groskopf has represented BOTH groups at various Wolf Advisory Committee meetings, Wisconsin Conservation Congress meetings, and Natural Resources Board hearings. She has also been one of the most vocal anti-wolf voices in the entire state of Wisconsin and specializes in fear mongering unlike any other.
Laurie Groskopf, a Tomahawk resident who has attended approximately 20 county board hearings where the boards have voted to peg the wolf management number at 350, supports the idea of a hunt to at least 350 wolves, and said she thinks the DNR’s 800-wolf number, a result of the state’s winter minimum population count, is far below the real number present in the state. The real, higher number would allow for more accurate hunting to remove more wolves and help citizens negatively affected by wolves in the state, according to Groskopf.
Groskopf and Antczak both shared similar stories of northern residents facing pet depredations as another reason to find the most suitable wolf management number.
A reminder that those “pet depredations” are mostly the bear dogs allegedly killed by wolves during bear hounder “training” and killing seasons. Remember this little bit from the WWF mission statement?
We strongly believe that conservation policies should be scientifically, professionally and factually based, not politically based.
You claim this yet allow Laurie Groskopf to be your spokesperson at various functions?
The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation is also an affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation. Just take a look at their website. On their home page is a picture of a beautiful wolf and these words. “Safeguard America’s Wildlife and Wild Places, Donate Today.” Then there are all kinds of beautiful pictures of America’s wildlife and screeds about “protection” and “safeguarding” our wildlife. This is the “mission” of the NWF:
National Wildlife Federation is a voice for wildlife, dedicated to protecting wildlife and habitat and inspiring the future generation of conservationists.
Wildlife’s ability to survive the challenges of the 21st century is becoming outpaced by the events that are transforming our world. Global warming, the loss of habitat, and people becoming more disconnected from nature than past generations are converging on a dangerous path for our planet. The work of NWF and our affiliates across the country provides answers to these challenges and will help ensure America’s wildlife legacy continues for future generations.
Your affiliates huh? Affiliates like the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and Laurie Groskopf? Nice touch. Pretend that you are all about protecting wildlife yet have a kill everything group like the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation as your “affiliate.” I have also been told by a several wildlife advocates that they have contacted the National Wildlife Federation about their concerns over the sadistic activities the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation endorses and were told that the NWF has no problems with them. How disgusting. Use cute cuddly pictures of wildlife to raise money, pretend you are all about saving them, but endorse a group that goes out of their way to push for hounding, trapping, and killing huge numbers of wolves. Nice.
Please contact the National Wildlife Federation and tell them how disgusted you are that they are in bed with the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and their anti-wolf positions. The hypocrisy of both these organizations is disgusting bit not all together surprising. Contact the NWF here: