Wisconsin DNR Hints that Statewide Kill Quota Will Be Ignored and Season Will Not Close

Courtesy: Joseph Ogrodnik

Courtesy: Joseph Ogrodnik

As we pointed out earlier this week something very fishy is going on with the Wisconsin DNR and our wolf population. The silence of the DNR told us that as usual something nefarious was going on behind the scenes and that indeed appears to be the case. When the Wisconsin DNR and their anti-wolf group stacked sham “Wolf Advisor Committee” met earlier this year a statewide kill quota of 150 wolves was agreed upon by a majority of the group. Suspiciously as of today the DNR report 146 wolves “legally” killed. This number does not include the vast number of wolves killed illegally. Now there comes word that the Wisconsin DNR and their real estate developer turned political appointee secretary, Cathy Stepp, may ignore the 150 kill quota and allow the kill season to continue far beyond that number.

The situation has created a quandary for Cathy Stepp, the DNR secretary, and her crew. On the one hand, the DNR could close the season after eight more (now four) wolves are killed, regardless of whether they come from Zone 3 or Zone 6. This would leave a harvest shortfall in one or both of those zones. On the other hand, the DNR could let the wolf harvest continue to the established quota in both Zone 3 and Zone 6, meaning the state harvest could exceed the 150 quota by as many as 13 wolves.

According to Dave MacFarland, the DNR’s large canine biologist, the DNR is aware of the possible overage.

“The season is not necessarily closed when it gets to 150 wolves,” MacFarland said. “We are watching the season closely and taking everything into consideration, but the final word comes from the secretary’s (Stepp’s) office.”

Unbelievable. The DNR is now essentially saying that established statewide quotas mean nothing and it is up to a political appointee that has shown ZERO regard for our wolf population to stop the killing. It’s bad enough that Wisconsin begins allowing dogs to be used against wolves starting Monday for kill purposes and not just the 24/7/365 “training,” but that it now appears the quota will be ignored. The DNR has already allowed mass overkill in two of their “zones” and now it appears that the overall state quota is going to be far exceeded, especially once dogs are introduced.

If wildlife advocates didn’t have enough concern before, the situation is now critical. The arrogance of Cathy Stepp and the Wisconsin DNR is staggering even for them. By allowing the wolf kill to exceed 150, which is a ridiculously high number as it is, the DNR is telling the citizens of this state and country that they have no intention of “managing” the wolf population responsibly. Its time to ramp up the pressure and DEMAND an end to this reckless slaughter NOW and not after the kill quota is again far exceeded. This is what happens when our federal government ignores their responsibility to make sure the wolf population is responsibly “managed” once they have been turned over to the states. This has been ignored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as they continue to allow Wisconsin to attack our wolves 24/7/365 and put them on the path of a second eradication.

Here are the contacts for the Wisconsin DNR. Let them know exactly how you feel and how you will sit by idly while they ignore their own kill quota:

DNRWildlifeWebmail@Wisconsin.gov

Call Center Staff Available 7 Days a Week (7 a.m.-10 p.m.)
Call Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINFo (1-888-936-7463)
Open a chat session available from 7 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

DNR Secretery Cathy Stepp:

DNRSecretary@Wisconsin.gov

(608) 266-2121

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The Wisconsin DNR’s Silence on Wolf Slaughter is Speaking Volumes

Fawn Slayer and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp's silence on wolf kill is deafening.

Fawn Slayer and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp’s silence on this year’s wolf kill is deafening.

Over this past weekend and through the next hundreds of thousands of people will be on Wisconsin lands looking to kill a deer. Two of the areas where thousands of these people will be are in what the DNR calls Wolf Zones 3 and 6. To date the DNR has listed 145 “reported” kills of a wolf by the great white hunters of Wisconsin. This tally does not include the countless numbers of illegally killed wolves that DO NOT count toward the DNR’s 150 wolf kill quota. In fact over the past two weeks only three wolves have been “reported” as killed by the DNR. There are multiple reasons to find this accounting of wolf kills highly suspicious and very concerning. Here are some theories as to why “only” three wolves were “reported” killed this past weekend despite hundreds of thousands of hunters being in the woods.

  • Poaching is rampant and encouraged by the anti-wolf hate sites that infect the internet. Therefore wolves are being killed but not being reported. Considering that poaching citations and investigations are way down this does not seem all that implausible that the DNR is turning a blind eye to wolf poachers. Even the kill everything and anti-wolf group, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, has raised alarms about the lack of poaching citations and investigations being conducted by this DNR. At least for deer.
  • There are few if any wolves left in these areas. Last year Zone 3 was the last area to close and hounders made sure to kill as many wolves in this area as possible and exceeded the kill quota. Couple this with the rampant and hate group encouraged poaching and there is a strong chance that there just aren’t many wolves left in these areas to kill.
  • Hounders are hoarding tags and waiting until dog vs wolf season starts next week. This is what I find to be the most likely of these scenarios. Hounders despise wolves and they are the ones that are most often at the center of any talk concerning the killing of wolves. The Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association even hired lawyers to write the bill that now allows dogs to be pitted against wolves. You just know that these bloodthirsty sadists are hoping that the 150 kill quota isn’t reached before next week so that they can publicly pit their dogs against wolves, legally “report” their kills, and share their snuff pics on the anti-wolf hate sites. Currently they only get to pit their dogs against wolves under the guise of 24/7/365 “training.” 
  • The DNR is not reporting the kills to the public. This theory has been gaining ground in recent weeks due to the complete and total silence from the DNR concerning the mass overkill in two zones and the blatant anti-wolf stance of the so-called “leadership” at the DNR. This document outlines a meeting that occurred a few years ago while Jim Doyle was still governor. Included in the meeting organized by the “Hunters Rights Coalition” were many familiar names now in DNR or state leadership positions. Most notably was then state representative Scott Gunderson the current “number two” at the DNR. These were Gunderson’s comments from that meeting: The “out of control” wolf population was the focus of Gunderson’s remarks. “If anyone thinks that projected wolf number is right – they are wrong,” Gunderson said. Gunderson said we need to continue to work to be able to get the wolf population under control.” Does it seem so far fetched that the modern incarnation of the DNR would ignore wolf kill numbers? Let’s not forget that the “Hunters Rights Coalition” was started by current Natural Resources Board member and Scott Walker campaign advisor, Greg Kazmierski, and is made up of of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and other rabid anti-wolf groups. It wouldn’t be so out there to assume that the fix is in and wolf kills are not being made public, would it? 
  • The DNR is telling the truth and hunters are just not finding wolves to shoot. Yeah I don’t buy that one either.

There is something rotten going on here in Wisconsin. The silence from the DNR only heightens the concerns that many of us wildlife advocates have about our wolf population and how it is being “managed.” When world renowned biologists and scientists are ignored by the DNR and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service the concerns are now overwhelming. The issues raised in the below letters are more relevant now than ever and should not be ignored.

August 25 Letter to USFWS

Response to FWS Ignoring of Wolf Population Concerns

The Wisconsin DNR has much to answer for and their silence is speaking volumes. I don’t for one second believe that only three wolves have been killed in the past two weeks. I also want to know why the DNR has remained silent about the calls for poaching and the ignoring of the established quotas that are being pushed by the anti-wolf hate sites. They must think that by ignoring us we will go away right along with our fragile wolf population. I am not going anywhere and neither should you until we have answers and assurances that efforts are being made to enforce the law and protect wolves from rampant poaching and overkill. Please keep up the pressure.

Contact the Wisconsin DNR here and demand answers:

Call Center Staff Available 7 Days a Week (7 a.m.-10 p.m.)
Call Toll Free 1-888-WDNRINFO (1-888-936-7463)

Wisconsin “Reforms” and More Ties That Bind: The Perils of Political Payback and One Party Rule

Prius alone in a sea of cronyism and political payback. Driving this car may cost you an additional $50 per year in Wisconsin.

Prius alone in a sea of cronyism and political payback. Driving this car may cost you an additional $50 per year in Wisconsin.

In the two weeks since Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker, and his GOP allies were reelected the perils of one party rule and hypocrisy have reared their ugly heads in a big way. In addition to more attacks on the poor and unemployed along with threats of withholding aid for political opponents, the Walker Administration’s political appointee head of the Department of Transportation last Friday introduced a massive tax and spend proposal to fund that agency’s agenda. In addition to massive increases in the gasoline tax, the proposal seeks to penalize owners of hybrid and electric vehicles by charging them an additional $50 per year. 

The proposal includes the new vehicle tax and gas taxes, as well as a $50 increase in the annual registration fee for fuel-efficient hybrid or electric vehicles. That means while regular gas vehicle owners would continue to pay a $75 annual fee, the nearly 48,000 hybrid and electric vehicle owners in the state would pay $125. The number of such vehicles is up more than tenfold from 2005.

Some environmentalists reacted strongly to the proposed increase in annual registration fees on hybrid/electric vehicles, which five other states — Washington, Colorado, Nebraska, Virginia and North Carolina — have passed. Virginia lawmakers voted to repeal its $64 fee on hybrid vehicles earlier this year amid an uproar from drivers.

“The proposed fee discourages innovation and punishes consumers who are trying to do the right thing by investing in cars and trucks that benefit everyone by cleaning up our air, reducing greenhouse gases, and reducing Wisconsin’s dependence on oil,” said Shahla Werner, director of the local chapter of the Sierra Club.

During the last budget cycle the Walker administration made sure to reward his supporters by lowering the cost for a wolf killing license to $49 from the previous $100 license fee. This budget cycle his administration appears to be going out of their way to slap a punitive fee on those attempting to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle by purchasing fuel efficient vehicles. So why would a supposed “fiscal conservative” be so willing to slap additional taxes and fees on Wisconsin citizens and how is this related to our wildlife?

Could it all be about political payback for campaign donors and Walker supporters? It also just so happens that extreme right wing and anti-wolf lobbyist, Bob Welch, coincidentally represents a major “engineers union.” Now why would an extreme right wing lobbyist represent a union, considering Walker’s rabid union busting policies? This just happens to be a road builders union that will benefit greatly should Walker’s tax and fee increase become reality. Welch is also the lobbyist for the extreme anti-wolf/wildlife groups, Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, Hunters Rights Coalition, Safari Club International, and the United States Sportsman’s Alliance. All of these groups hold significant sway over the Wisconsin DNR and one, the Hunters Rights Coalition, was founded by former state SCI president, Greg Kazmierski. Kazmierski, a former Scott Walker campaign advisor, now sits on the state Natural Resources Board ensuring that the Welch lobbied extreme hunting groups have complete and total control of wildlife policy from the top down. This didn’t just happen overnight as this document shows.

Bob Welch just happens to be always directly involved or on the peripheral of many, if not all, of the major proposals and paybacks coming from the Walker Administration. Still not convinced? Then we have this:

Wisconsin state officials on Monday will release those who submitted proposals for redevelopment of the Hill Farms state property, along with a list of finalists for what is the largest public sector real estate project in Wisconsin since Miller Park.

The Walker administration has been seeking a private developer to purchase the Hill Farms site and construct a $197 million, 600,000-square-foot office complex with 2,500 parking spaces to replace the current Wisconsin Department of Transportation building.

The state would then own the building, but a private entity would hold the balance of the 21-acre site off Sheboygan Avenue on Madison’s west side.

The Department of Administration on Oct. 13 quietly posted a request for proposals for the project, with interested parties required to take a tour of the site on Oct. 17. The Capital Times asked for the names of those who took the tour but DOA chief legal counsel Gregory Murray denied the open records request, saying it would jeopardize the state’s negotiating position.

So why is this an issue?

At least one prominent Wisconsin real estate developer made a contribution to Walker in the days between the release of the Hill Farms RFP on Oct. 13 and the Nov. 4 election. Records show that Terrence Wall of Madison gave $9,975 to the Friends of Scott Walker on Oct. 25.

Wall had briefly sought the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Last year, he wrote a letter to the DOA saying he was interested in buying Hill Farms or other properties from the state if and when they were made available.

Who happens to be the lobbyist for T Wall Properties, now known as “Vanta?” You guessed it. None other than Bob Welch. While Wall was ousted from the company he started in 2012, he is still a player in developing properties in Wisconsin. It is now known yet if Vanta submitted a proposal to develop the Hill Farms property, but Terrence Wall not only contributed to Walker’s campaign, he was also a contributor to Bob Welch’s failed U.S. Senate campaign in 2004. Funny how Welch just seems to have his name tied to almost every political payback scheme over the past four years, isn’t it? Even when he isn’t directly involved he is in the peripheral as seen with the ties between the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and the Koch Brothers front group “United Sportsmen” in 2013 and the scandal that followed. Why does the mainstream media not see this and ask more questions about the ties between Governor Walker and Bob Welch? Isn’t it obvious that these links are more than coincidental?

But what do I know? I am just a Prius driving wildlife advocate that continues to suffer the consequences of one party rule and political cronyism and will be $50 poorer. Anyone else think it is time for the media to take a closer look at the cozy relationship between Walker and the groups Bob Welch lobbies for? I also noticed something else very interesting on Welch’s client list. Welch is the lobbyist for the private prison company, Corrections Corporation of America. Currently private prisons are not legal to operate in Wisconsin. Now what are the chances that this law will soon change? You think that maybe the media should take a little closer look at the groups Welch lobbies for to get an idea of other “reforms” coming our way in Wisconsin? Maybe? Hint, hint.

Our Wildlife and Democracy in Peril: Why I am Bitter and You Should be Too

The 52 percent

The 52 percent. Where have we seen this kind of “cult (or lack) of personalty before? 

In what is sure to be another kick in the face for our environment and our wildlife 52 percent of Wisconsin voters decided Tuesday that they prefer bullying, cronyism, and flat out corruption instead of ethics and responsible governing. Instead of being in prison, with his six close associates, Scott Walker was reelected despite a bottom of the barrel economy, a looming budget crisis, criminal investigations, and all around incompetence. I guess the old saying is true for Wisconsin: You get the government that you deserve. While the Walker supporters gloat and push for more “reforms” their air, land, and water are being sold from underneath them and they are apparently perfectly fine with that. After all they get to slaughter and run dogs on wolves 24/7/365, force already traumatized women to undergo vaginal ultrasounds to access a LEGAL procedure, step on those big, bad, and evil public employees, shoot unarmed black people on your porch, all while paying for religious indoctrination in schools with YOUR tax money.

52 percent of Wisconsin voters also don’t care that Walker and their DNR tell them to “drink shit and die.” Literally as this recent story points out.

A state administrative law judge who put conditions on a closely watched expansion of a large dairy farm in Kewaunee County has found that numerous contaminated wells in the area “represented a massive regulatory failure to protect groundwater.”

The Oct. 29 ruling by Judge Jeffrey Boldt will allow Kinnard Farms to expand in a region with a history of polluted groundwater. But Boldt also directed the Department of Natural Resources to use its authority to prevent more problems by requiring the farm to install monitoring wells.

We get to drink cow crap. Yay! Go Scott Walker!!!! This is the kind of “small government” that you voted for. You can’t drink your water but you can kill and run dogs on wolves. We Stand With Scott Walker!!!! Just don’t don’t drink the water.

When it comes to the environment and wildlife the lack of regulation and enforcement of law violations has even caused former DNR Secretary and head of the deceptively named hunting group, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, to come out with a scathing critique of the DNR and their lack of enforcement on wildlife violations. Of course this is quite hypocritical considering that his group apparently has no problem with advocating poaching when it comes to wolves with their Wolf Advisory Committee representative.

A report released earlier this week by an environmental group headed by a former secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources finds conservation wardens are issuing fewer citations under Gov. Scott Walker than his Democratic predecessor.

The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation analyzed citation data from 2003 to 2013. Since Walker’s administration was put in place and Cathy Stepp named head of the DNR, enforcement of all types of conservation-related violations fell 28 percent between 2011 and 2013, compared to the number of citations issued between 2003 and 2010 when Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle was in office.

According to the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, citations peaked at 19,474 in 2007 and fell to a low of 12,393 in 2013.

Of course calling the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation an “environmental group” is like calling NAMBLA a child welfare organization but in a rare instance of agreement I am glad that Meyer pointed out the lackadaisical enforcement of wildlife violations among the current incarnation for the DNR. I have also brought this topic up recently as well showing that the DNR basically ignored blatant wolf torture and illegal killing. On course the lack of enforcement should come as no surprise considering that the vice-chair of the state Assembly Natural Resources Committee, Joel Kleefisch, is a convicted wildlife violator. If the ones that make the rules don’t comply why should anyone else?

The Wisconsin wolf slaughter is up to 138 with a little less than a month before hounder season starts. What really disgusts me is that the Walker regime and DNR are not content destroying our wildlife and wild lands for “job growth” or some other right wing nonsense but they also have to kill and destroy for “recreation.” This state, and country for that matter, is full of some very toxic, greedy, and spiteful people that are out to destroy anything and everything that can be considered a “progressive” value. This includes wildlife and especially wolves. We have seen this poisonous attitude before in Western civilization and it did not end pretty. The toxic underbelly of Wisconsin is now out of the shadows and is mainstream. Bullying your opponents in now “good politics.” Much like the rise of European Fascism in the late 20’s and early 30’s the EXACT same playbook is being used in our state. The European Fascists despised progressives, intellectuals, the poor, and especially their main scapegoat, the Jews, while using propaganda and legislative trickery to get them complete and total domination over all facets of government.

While the Walker minions haven’t called for a “final solution” for liberals and progressives (yet) they are out for blood figuratively and literally. Where in most areas 52 percent of the vote would be considered a narrow win forcing the winner to govern with a little humility and try to work with the opposition, that is FAR from the case here in Wisconsin. Two days after the election the bought and paid for “leaders” (puppets) in the state legislature are already getting those ALEC penned bills ready to foist upon our state. More funding of religious schools to the detriment of public schools, making those receiving public assistance, including unemployment, be drug tested, eliminating the ONLY legitimate watchdog of election corruption in this state, and making sure it is a priority to change the law that Walker and his puppet masters got caught breaking. I thought it was about “jobs” and “prosperity?”

Actually it is. A snow job for us and more prosperity for David and Charles Koch and Chris Cline. The only jobs and prosperity here are for the lobbyists and the crooked politicians that now will be able to take in unlimited amounts of money and be bribed right in front of the camera with no repercussions. The only “prosperity” will be for the people that directly benefit from the raping of our environment and the selling of our public lands and buildings.

Underneath the fake “beer and cheese loving bumpkin” persona that Wisconsin tries to portray to the rest of the country there is a very poisonous and pathological hatred that has now become mainstream and celebrated. All this talk about “coming together” and that we are “all Wisconsinites” is code for join us or we are going to destroy you. THAT is the REAL lesson of this election. The thugs and bullies are looking at every single way possible to consolidate control and remove any and all checks and balances that get in the way of that power. Sound familiar? Some get upset when terms like fascism are used in American politics. Why? They like to use terms like “Communism” and “Socialism” to describe what progressives do in this country. Why are those words acceptable and calling a spade a spade is not?  That is the problem. We are so afraid of “offending” anyone that many can never see the truth when it is right before their eyes. The extreme right wing that control our state have no problem “offending” us so why should be be worried about calling them what the dictionary says they are?

We are headed down a very dangerous path here in Wisconsin and in other right wing strongholds where opposing voices have been shut out, bullied into submission, and legislatively punished to shut them down. Sound familiar?

fas·cism
ˈfaSHˌizəm/Submit
noun
an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
synonyms: authoritarianism, totalitarianism, dictatorship, despotism, autocracy; More
(in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

Need I say more? For our wildlife and for our republic please keep a very watchful eye on those in power in this state. Only in Wisconsin can winning with 52 percent of the vote give you grounds to govern like you won 92 percent. We must stay vigilant and not abandon our principles. The pendulum will swing back one way or another…….