When the the Wisconsin DNR changed the makeup of their “Wolf Advisory Committee” and stacked it with representatives from rabid anti-wolf groups, what did they think would happen? Did they think that all of the years of pandering to these extremist groups would make them reasonable and fair when it came to making decisions regarding Wisconsin’s wolf population? Now the monster that they created is turning on them and making more and more unreasonable and extreme demands and frustrations are becoming evident among some on the Wolf Advisory Committee.
The most recent push by the extreme wolf haters on this committee is to open up “Zone 6,” which is essentially two-thirds of the state, to unlimited wolf killing. This proposal is very similar to the reckless plan in Wyoming that allows wolves to be killed 24/7/365 by any means possible through 80 percent of that state. Ironically Wyoming’s plan was shot downin Federal court last week and wolves there have, at least temporarily, been returned to Federal protection.
A dedicated wildlife advocate attended the Wolf Advisory Committee meeting on Tuesday and was floored by the arrogant and brazen demands along with the behavior exhibited by the representatives of the extreme hunting groups. Most notably by Mike Brust of the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Al Lobner of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, and by perhaps the most virulent anti-wolf voice in the state, Laurie Groskopf, representing the deceptively named extreme hunting group the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. It should also be noted that Groskopf also sits on the board of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and is on the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. Both groups also have seats on the Wolf Advisory Committee and both are anti-wolf to the extreme. In fact all of the anti-wolf factions on the Wolf Advisory Committee are interconnected with a reach that extends to the supposedly “independent” Natural Resources Board.
Here are their observations from the meeting:
In case you hadn’t heard….
Have no fear….the Mike Brust proposal for unlimited tags in zone 6 went down in defeat 🙂 In fact there was so much vocal opposition (DNR) to it that it didn’t come up for a vote to recommend although they did do a “compromise” vote on “increasing harvest quotas for zone 6″ but that also failed by a vote of 12-7. There was more DNR opposition to this than anything I had seen up to this point. I am confident that the Wyoming relisting was significant to this decision. When someone brought up the Wyoming delisting, Laurie Groskopf stated that she thinks the threat of relisting by the feds is just a “myth”.
They did recommend modifying some of the zones today and the extreme hunting groups attempted to carve out parts of zones and move them into zone 6. It was clear that their intention was to increase the size of zone 6 in hopes of getting a vote for unlimited tags in zone 6. They got their way on a few parcels but not much. They cut off part of zone 5 (southeastern corner) and moved it into zone 6 and dissolved zone 4 into zone 2 and 6…..These zones are not being designed for depredation, which I thought was the intent of the hunt. Their intent, other than to increase zone 6, appears to be to just simplify borders… Wildlife Services statistic: only 13% of wolves killed in 2013 (KILLED) were depredating wolves. Zone 6 may end up being 65-70% of the state!!!!
One other noteworthy piece that I found out as an aside was that of the $900,000 USF&WS grant towards nonlethal/depredation offered to the 10 states, Wisconsin DNR got a $117,000 grant for depredation payments ($100,000) and $17,000 to Wildlife Services. I asked him if it was going to be used for nonlethal also and he said no “just depredation”. I was sure the grant language stated that part of it needed to be used for nonlethal. I bet you anything that they’ll use this for hounder payments.
GLIFWC (Peter David) brought up the proposal that the committee endorse the concept to open up discussion with tribes of management zones, in particular buffer zones to protect wolves in & around tribal lands. Peter stated that these wolves in and around the tribal lands are a “shared resource”. Ohhhhhh, did bigotry rear its ugly head with the extreme hunting groups. You would have been ashamed.
It was announced to WAC that there would be a Wolf Roundtable meeting in mid to late October consisting of “other” stakeholder organizations. Make sure you’re sitting down when you read this next statement. Upon hearing that there would be a roundtable for the first time, Al Lobner & Mike Brust spoke up asking “why wouldn’t all stakeholders be invited?” Dave McFarland simply answered, “this is an opportunity for those voices not at this table to be heard.” They continued to whine and grumble.
Regarding the mounting frustration among the more reasonable parts of the Committee:
Unlike in the past, they are not hiding their impatience nor disgust at what is said. One member who has been extremely quiet throughout “lost it” yesterday with Al Lobner. She restated group rules/protocols which was directed at Al Lobner because he was butting in, being disrespectful to the facilitator and others AND giving false information about bear hunting when trying to argue for unlimited tags for wolves in zone 6. He stated that they had unlimited tags for bears in certain zone(s) and she said that was FALSE. He knew it.
Mike Brust tried to argue that unlimited tags would be a revenue resource and she spoke up stating that the DNR would be a “laughingstock” to their clients who come to her department. Paul Smith (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) was there and it was pointed out that it would not be good for the public to find out that we want unlimited tags in zone 6 for increased revenue while he turned around and smiled at Paul Smith.
I hope the DNR likes this monster that they created and enabled. They wholeheartedly accepted the lobbyist written wolf kill bill that was rammed through in 2012, and fought in court to allow dogs to be used against wolves. This made Wisconsin the ONLY state in the country to allows dogs to be used against wolves. Their law enforcement division essentially refuses to enforce blatant violations committed by hounders and wolf trappers/hunters. Hounders continue to whine and complain about their “low” payoffs when they sacrifice their hounds for those $2500 checks. This also doesn’t take into account the rampant Facebook threats of poaching, gut-shooting, and poisoning among the various hounder and anti-wolf groups. Finally they stacked the Wolf Advisory Committee with the very groups that essentially threaten poaching and spread non-stop fear, propaganda, and misinformation about wolves.
I hope the DNR is satisfied with this monster because it is becoming abundantly clear that the old adage of “once you give and inch, they take a mile” should be changed to once you “give a mile they want the whole f-ing state” when it comes to the extreme hunting groups that they have more than enabled.