Enough! From the Coming Mass Extinction to Current Mass Shootings Enough is Enough

writing-in-the-sky

Photo via Stutterstock.

The past couple of weeks have been quite eventful in terms of wildlife issues and societal events that show how truly fractured and disturbed our society is. The Koch owned Congress has declared all out war on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are looking to continue the decimation of the Endangered Species Act and gray wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming. Unfortunately the Teahadists and fake Democrats are not content just destroying native wildlife. Included within the 2016 Appropriations bill for the Interior and EPA is a provision that will limit regulations pertaining to the import of ivory into the United States. A cause championed by the National Redneck Rifle Association (NRA) and by trophy “hunters” all over the country.

As the eco-news gets more and more dire with each passing day our Congress is going out of their way to block common sense environmental protections for clean air, clean water, and the protection of wildlife. This week a terrifying study was published by the Science Advances journal showed that Earth is entering a sixth “mass extinction” and that this one is a direct result of humans. From the Washington Post:

“We are now moving into another one of these events that could easily, easily ruin the lives of everybody on the planet,” Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich said in a video created by the school.

In a study published Friday in the journal Science Advances, biologists found that the Earth is losing mammal species 20 to 100 times the rate of the past. Extinctions are happening so fast, they could rival the event that killed the dinosaurs in as little as 250 years. Given the timing, the unprecedented speed of the losses and decades of research on the effects of pollution, hunting and habitat loss, they assert that human activity is responsible.

Sobering news that should horrify every single person on this planet. But it didn’t. Just to show that Wisconsin continues to produce festering boils on the butt of society our very own pumpkin pie haircutted Rep. Glenn Grothman introduced legislation in the House of Representatives that would block EPA clean air rules that are just too “burdensome” for his Koch masters. Neil Heinen of Madison’s WISC Channel 3 pointed this out in his editorial:

The researchers found that human activity related to development and climate change has contributed to “an exceptionally rapid loss of biodiversity,” as “our global society has started to destroy species of other organisms at an accelerating rate.” The window of opportunity to alleviate the loss of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish is rapidly closing, according to the researchers.

That sobering story was followed by a press release from Republican Representative Glenn Grothman from Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District, on introduction of his bill to “prevent burdensome regulations the Environmental Protection Agency is handing down under the Clean Air Act.”

You can’t make up this stuff.

No you cannot make this stuff up. Grothman and his ilk have made the very air we breath available to the highest bidder. Our planet is dying and all these people want to do is milk the last vestiges of nature for their own profit or for a few campaign donations tossed their way by wealthy benefactors.

When do we say ENOUGH? When the last stream dries up and all that we have left to drink is chemical laced water from fracking? How about when the only water left to drink is the e coli laced runoff from factory farms like the monster pig torture factory being proposed for Bayfield County in Wisconsin? How about when our air is so polluted and smog ridden that a vacation to Beijing looks like respiratory heaven? When the great white hunters kill off all the wildlife and then turn to killing “tree huggers” or “liberals” to satisfy their bloodlust? What is it going to take to tell our corrupt politicians ENOUGH? Enough of the commercialization of our wildlife. Enough of selling off our pristine lands to energy interests to destroy. Enough pandering to the killing cartels and big ag that want to see a predator free landscape. Enough of greedy zealots like Glenn Grothman and Taconite Tommy Tiffany looking to destroy the remaining checks and balances that barely keep us from falling off an ecological cliff. ENOUGH! Do you want your children to have to see the last days of this planet and it’s inhabitants? Because if we don’t act they will and far sooner than you think.

All of us are guilty of taking advantage of modern conveniences and give little thought about how they came into our possession. This is especially true here in the United States where we are more concerned with deflated footballs, “reality TV stars” that once were dudes and now are chicks, and whatever the ridiculous pop-culture nonsense of the day is, than our world dying before our eyes. We don’t look at how that hamburger or pork chop ended up on a plate. We don’t look at how the fruits and vegetables we consume end up there either and the quasi-slave labor involved in that process. We don’t see any of it. We only see what we want to see or what the more gullible among us are told to look at by the corporate controlled media. Do yourself a favor and take a moment to learn how the food you are consuming ended up on your plate. Take a moment to see how your phone ended up assembled and in your hand. Take a moment to see who is cleaning your workplace and how they got there. You may not like what you learn but knowledge is power and that power can change things if enough voices are willing to demand that change. I’m not too optimistic that our fat and lazy society in this country really cares all that much though. That brings us to the next part of my rant.

America’s Twisted Gun Culture 

America as a country was born by the gun, and there is a pretty good chance that we will die by it as well if Mother Nature doesn’t get us first as explained above. The gun features prominently in every aspect of our culture from movies to video games. As a veteran and having worked in the law enforcement field for over half of my life combined, I have no problems with firearms and the reasonable ownership of them. I even own a small shotgun for home protection. What I do have a problem with is the obsession with and lionization of the gun so that it becomes more important than society itself. Following the domestic terror attack at the church in Charleston, South Carolina we Americans again fall into the same divided camps. You have the extremist gun nuts on one side that view any reasonable gun restrictions as a violation of their “rights” and the other side calling for the elimination of guns from society or for increased regulation. Even though I am a gun owner I side with those calling for stricter regulation of certain types of firearms and those that are allowed to possess them.

While this may offend 2nd Amendment proponents that crow about their “rights” I have to ask if the other parts of the Constitution or other founding documents are just as important to them? How about that little part in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence calling the pursuit of LIFE, liberty, and happiness to be unalienable rights? Are those rights any less important than the rights of those that want to flash and intimidate with their toys? How about the “well regulated militia” line of the 2nd Amendment? What “well regulated militia” did the mass murderers that shot up Sandy Hook, the Aurora Theater, Virginia Tech, and the church in Charleston belong to? As with the selling out of our planet when is enough ENOUGH? How many more schools, churches, temples, and places of business need to be shot up by some schizoid with a stupid haircut and short circuit in the brain before we as a society scream ENOUGH? The Constitution is not a suicide pact and the gun isn’t more important than the people it governs. If it is then we need to do some serious self reflection as a country and as a society about what LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness really means.

Of course no national tragedy would be complete without a Wisconsin politician again showing that we can out asshole you any day of the week.

As he signed two bills expanding gun rights Wednesday, Gov. Scott Walker said he initially declined to say whether South Carolina should take down a Confederate flag because that state’s governor had asked him to hold off on addressing the issue.

Walker took heat from opponents for signing the gun legislation so soon after the South Carolina shooting and doing it in Milwaukee, which has seen a spike in gun violence. The governor said the bills he signed, one of which ended a 48-hour waiting period for gun purchases, had nothing to do with the South Carolina shooting.

From announcing DNR layoffs on Earth Day to this Wisconsin is sure going out of it’s way to show the rest of the country that we can spit in the faces of environmentalists and victims of gun violence better than anyone else in the nation. While the repeal of the 48 hour waiting period is of course met with jubilation by the gun nuts of our society they obviously don’t care why it was implemented in the first place.

Republicans have said the 48-hour waiting period is a “time tax” and is no longer necessary because of advancements in technology that allow background checks to be conducted quickly.

But some Democrats have warned the waiting period also serves as a cooling-off period, especially in domestic violence cases.

So a gun nut having to wait a couple of days is now a “time tax?” What planet do these people live on where an argument like this has any credibility? As one that has worked in the law enforcement field I can say from my experience that a “cooling off” period is a necessity in this state where alcohol fueled domestic violence is a MAJOR problem. But we can’t let that 48 hour “time tax” get in the way of an angry domestic abuser or a gun fetishist immediately getting their hands on their little toy now can we?

I could go on all day but I will stop there. We all need to take some time to reflect and see where we want our planet and country go. If we continue on the path that we are on neither will survive to the next generation. Is that what we want? Do we want to destroy our ecosystem so Charles and David Koch can add a few more zeroes to the billions that they already possess? Do we want to wipe out imperiled species both here and across the globe so some “great white hunter” can have a head to hang on their wall, or so some Chinese man thinks he can get a boner by ingesting parts of an imperiled species? Do we want a society where there are guns everywhere at every time and are used as an intimidation tool or to be pulled out at any perceived slight? If we even have a voice left then the sane among us need to stand up and scream ENOUGH!

Wisconsin’s Dubious Wolf Population “Increase” and Taconite Tommy Strikes Again

The modern Wisconsin "sportsman." Still Wisconsin seems "shocked" that this offends people.

The modern Wisconsin “sportsman.” This is what Wisconsin’s calls “responsible management.”

Normally wildlife advocates would find news that Wisconsin’s small wolf population is allegedly growing to be welcome. However one only has to look at those doing the counting this past winter to see why there is major reason for skepticism in the increased numbers.

In 2014, following the mass slaughter of 257 wolves by guns, traps, arrows, and dogs, the over winter count showed an estimated number of 660 to 689 wolves in the state. This was a 19 percent drop from the previous year. In the fall of 2014 the “great white hunters” slaughtered 154 wolves and shorty after a federal judge returned wolves in the Great Lakes to the Endangered Species List because of inadequate state “management plans” and lack of proliferation in historical habitat.

Immediately following the delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes the usual suspects of the anti-wolf cabal of killing cartels and big ag started pushing stories in the media of mass hordes of wolves decimating the livestock of the poor poor farmers struggling out in the prairie lands of Minnesota and Wisconsin. It would have been laughable of the gullible media didn’t print the anti-wolf propaganda and misinformation as fact. Almost immediately following the judge’s ruling the anti-wolf factions in congress led by Wisconsin Tea Party extremist (G)reed Ribble and fake “Democrat” Colin Peterson of Minnesota introduced legislation that would strip Endangered Species Act protections from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming and forbid our Constitutional right of judicial review for laws and agency regulations. Apparently this bill and other even more extreme anti-wolf bills were not able to gain much traction as stand alone bills in Congress so the anti-wolf factions are now attempting the tried and true method of gutting wolf protections by attaching a “rider” bill to the appropriations bill for funding the Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency. This tactic worked in 2011 when the disgustingly anti-wolf Obama Administration allowed and signed a spending bill with an attached rider removing ESA protections from wolves in the Northern Rockies. The anti-wolf zealots are now hoping history repeats itself this year.

That is a little background as to where our small wolf population stands now and how we got here.

Yesterday, near Wausau, Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources held an informational meeting to announce the results for this year’s wolf population survey. The DNR’s Large Carnivore Biologist, Dave MacFarland, announced that the DNR estimates that there are between 746 and 771 wolves in Wisconsin. This is a 13 percent increase over the numbers released in 2014. Immediately following the meeting the anti-wolf barstool biologist/killing cartel leaders started spreading their flat out lies and propagandist misinformation. Take for example member of the DNR’s anti-wolf group stacked “Wolf Advisory Committee” and head of the killing cartel and anti-wolf Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, Mike Brust, spreading his barstool biology for all to see:

“Wolves aren’t dumb. They’re going to go where the food is, the food for wolves is whitetail deer. So as they run out of their resource, their food source is up north. They’re going to move further south, and that’s where we’re running into conflicts,” said Mike Brust, Wisconsin Bow Hunters Association.

Brust fails to mention who and what these “conflicts” are of course. The greedy Wisconsin deer hunters apparently are upset because their on-demand killing now requires a little more work than setting out bait piles and waiting to arrow a hungry and unsuspecting deer. As with anything rural a scapegoat is required to account for all their economic and lifestyle failures so this time wolves make a convenient one for northern Wisconsin. Even the rabidly anti-wolf DNR made very clear that wolves have a negligible at best impact on the Wisconsin deer population.

The D.N.R. says each wolf can kill about 20 deer per year, but that’s still about 10 percent of what hunters take.

“Deer die from a variety of causes, including wolves, but again, wolves don’t seem to be a primary driver of the deer population,” said MacFarland.

Another reason for wildlife advocates to be highly dubious of the numbers released yesterday is because of just who is doing the counting. In 2012 following the passage of the draconian and sadistic Wisconsin Wolf Kill Bill, Act 169, a large number of professional wolf trackers resigned in protest at how the DNR was setting out to persecute this species with reckless killing seasons that included the use of dogs. Recently the DNR welcomed 50 bear hounders and trappers to the ranks of wolf trackers. You read that right. The Wisconsin DNR enlisted the rabidly and openly anti-wolf factions to be responsible for conducting the wolf surveys in the state. This list includes the most vocal and rabidly anti-wolf zealot in the state, Laurie Groskopf. Still trust those numbers? A year ago the population was around 660. Another 154 were “legally” killed last fall. These numbers don’t even take into account the numbers illegally killed, killed by trigger happy farmers, or those killed by the USDA’s Wildlife Services goons for alleged “depredations.” Yet, magically the population is reported to have INCREASED by almost 100 animals? You bet I am skeptical and will be taking a long hard look at how the DNR and their anti-wolf “trackers” came about these numbers.

Taconite Tommy Strikes Again

In a legislature and state government stacked with extremists and arrogant self important types it takes a special kind of asshole to keep making headlines for outlandish statements or actions. No shock that the special one is once again state senator Taconite Tommy Tiffany (R-GTAC). After throwing a hissy fit over not being able to kill enough bobcats and having his sugar daddy’s mining project pull out of the state, Tiffany set out to gut the DNR’s science division because they had the nerve to tell the truth and not what old TT wanted to hear. Now Taconite Tommy is demanding that the DNR ignore all this science stuff and focus on providing “opportunity for hunters.”

Senator Tom Tiffany supported the proposed mine, but says the negative analysis is not the reason he supports cutting the bureau that produced the report.

“This Bureau of Science Services – some of us just believe just went off and did their own thing at times and I think …it’s very important for them to stay focused on being able to offer more opportunities for sportsmen,” Tiffany says.

Tiffany says he’s most concerned about the time and money the science bureau has funneled into studying Chronic Wasting Disease – CWD – that has plagued the state’s deer herd.

“There’s been $45 million spent on CWD research in Wisconsin. And I understand early on, maybe 10 or 15 years ago, they might spent $10 million, even $20 million finding a way to eradicate it or find a cure. But after they weren’t successful they began to throw good money after bad,” he says.

Tiffany also blames the bureau with making recommendations that diminish hunting and fishing opportunities.

“And it’s not just deer hunting, the Minocqua Chain of Lakes now this year is shut down for walleye hunting. Imagine that, one of the premier chain of lakes in northern Wisconsin and you cannot keep a walleye on there; and it has a real economic impact,” Tiffany says.

He says enough with studies, it’s time to put money into rebuilding opportunities for sportsmen.

Enough with studies? Wow. The self serving arrogance of this man is astounding. Hunters account for an estimated 10 percent of the state population. Coincidentally Dane County also accounts for 10 percent of the state population. Guess which one Taconite Tommy and his ilk are catering to and which ones are being ignored and shut out of almost everything in state government?

Tiffany and those like them have remade the Wisconsin DNR into a “game farm” operation for the state of Wisconsin while weakening their statutory obligation to enforce environmental laws and set regulations. Later in the same article it is refreshing to see former DNR wolf biologist, Adrian Wydeven, finally speak up about the gutting of science from the DNR and how “non-consumptive users” are ignored.

Adrian Wydeven says it would be a mistake to decouple research and wildlife management. He is a wildlife biologist and headed Wisconsin’s wolf recovery efforts.

“There are different layers of scientists, and the people in the field are managers. And the managers don’t have time to do the research. That’s one of the benefits of having scientists within the agency. They’re very focused on doing research for the things that the managers most need,” Wydeven says.

He says weakening the science component could wreak havoc. “Which means there’s greater risks of over harvest of populations, over harvest in certain regions. But one of the other issues I also see there seems to be almost no voice right now for wildlife concerns beyond consumptive users,” Wydeven says.

Thank you!!! Thank you!!! Thank you, Dr. Wydeven. With the often meek and middle ground comments we have gotten from him since he left the DNR I let out a cheer when I read this one. We NEED voices like Dr. Wydeven to speak up and call out arrogant and self-serving types like Taconite Tommy. While his comments were measured here and don’t call out Tiffany by name, I am heartened to see a emphasis on how LIVING wildlife advocates have no voice in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that Taconite Tommy cares one bit about over killing anything. The ONLY thing that matters to people like him is the killing itself and making more of it available for his bloodthirsty brethren.

In the meantime it’s time to bombard your local newspapers with letters calling out the actions of people like Taconite Tommy and those in Congress hellbent on destroying wolves and the Endangered Species Act in the process. Also please contact your representative and senators to tell them to leave their hands off of wolves and the ESA and NO DELISTING until the state take their responsibilities seriously and implement “management” plans that aren’t focused on near eradication and recreational killing. Enough is enough. Find your representatives and senators below.

Find Your Senators and Representatives

A Wolf Allegedly Kills A Calf in Southern Wisconsin and the Barstool Biologists are Screaming Armageddon

Them wolf's gonna eat your kids!!!!!

Them wolf’s gonna eat your kids!!!!!- Wisconsin Barstool Biologists

The internet is both a wonderful tool for passing along information and a nightmare that allows uninformed fear mongering morons to spread lies and misinformation. This week articles appeared in various news outlets that reported an alleged killing of a calf by a wolf near Arlington, Wisconsin. While these “attacks” are rare all over the state despite what the fear mongers tell us, they are especially rare that far south in Wisconsin. However when one looks deeper into the reported “facts” surrounding the alleged depredation the culprit is not so clear. The media made sure to sensationalize the story to pretend that the farmer was just devastated about the death of an animal that was “like a pet” to him.

Rick Stevenson and his brothers farm 1,800 acres outside Poynette, but have never lost an animal to other wildlife. That is, until last Tuesday, when they found a dead calf in a pasture.

“They had torn the throat out of it, and broke the neck,” Stevenson said. “It made us sick. They’re our pets, you know.”

“Pets,” huh? How do you treat your pets? I know that I don’t raise mine and then when they are old enough have someone shoot a bolt in their head so that they can end up on a dinner plate. Do you? As ridiculous as that comment was how the DNR apparently determined that a wolf was the culprit is even more so:

DNR experts investigating the incident confirmed it was a wolf attack because the calf was attacked at the throat. Coyotes and other animals often target the backside of an animal instead of the throat, according to the DNR.

The attack is also the first reported wolf attack in Columbia County this year.

While a wolf attack is considered rare in the area, Stevenson said it’s the second time he has seen a wolf on his property.

In May of 2014, a gray wolf was seen on a hunting camera roaming the area. Stevenson said he isn’t sure whether it’s the same wolf that killed his calf.

Stevenson has filed paperwork with the DNR and USDA to receive some reimbursement for his lost calf, which is worth $1,100.

So was there a DNA test? Prints? Anything other than this guy seeing a wolf on a “hunting camera” a year ago? If it wasn’t a wolf the farmer couldn’t feed at the trough of the “depredation” gravy train so that sure makes the determination that it was a wolf pretty important.

One of the worst sites for clueless, racist, and flat out misinformation filled comments is the website for the Madison, Wisconsin CBS affiliate, WISC-TV. The article about the alleged wolf depredation is no exception. In this instance the barstool biologists come out of the woodwork to make claims about wolves, of course, eating children, eating all the deer, being “planted” in southern Wisconsin, and most laughably of all one making claims that he has never heard of a coyote killing a calf.

Larry Cuff · Top Commenter · Baraboo, Wisconsin
How do you think these wolves got here they were brought down from the north because of the over population of deer in some parts of the southern area of “WI. For someone who only reads books to tell people that were actually at the scene and had prior pictures of wolves, that it was a coyote that killed the calf is obviously a person that likes wolves and is trying to protect them. This scene is only going to get worse before it gets better, and for you Mr. Lulling there have been coyotes in Wisconsin for 50 plus years or more and I don’t recall ever hearing of one that killed a calf.

The esteemed barstool biologist Dr. Cuff apparently never looks at the Wisconsin DNR’s “depredation reports” because just this year several calf kills have been attributed to coyotes and domestic dogs.

DNR Depredation Report

The DNR report shows at least SEVEN calves allegedly killed by coyotes just since February, but since Dr. Cuff never heard about one ever occurring obviously they never did.

Next in the article we have this genius:

Richard Procter · Top Commenter · Madison, Wisconsin
when wolfs start attacking livestock then its open season ( the judge can stick it).

Ahh yes, the Wisconsin way, bad grammar and all. Is it any wonder why each week there seems to be another story about men from Wisconsin being busted for poaching in other states? The arrogance and moronic barstool biology does not stop there. Now the wolves are coming for your kids:

Jake Jacobs · Top Commenter · Lacrosse State University Lacrosse, Wisconsin
OK, I have read all the posts on here and it makes one scratch his head and wonder. One side, the outdoorsman type, with common sense see the real threat. The “bookworms” see another. To the “feel good” folks that love the wolves, remember there wasn’t a house in every woods when the wolves were roaming free the first time. If you recall when the wolf was re-introduced to Wisconsin, both the DNR and the Fed’s said Wisconsin could safely handle a population of 300 wolves. When the population went to more than 800, they introduced a hunting and trapping season to curtail the exploding population. Their goal was to reduce the population to approximately 600 wolves, still more than twice what the experts said Wisconsin could handle. Some on here want to use 2012 figures to argue against wolf control, I guess I would ask how many more wolves are there today? Coyote sightings and problems, are on the increase because the coyotes have been forced into the urban area’s by the expansion of the wolf packs. Wolves and Coyotes do not get along, as they are after the same food source. It won’t be too many more years before the wolves are in the arboretum and other suburban area’s. It also will not be long before a child is killed by wolves.

This barstool biologist is apparently trying to rewrite history about the “exploding” wolf population in Wisconsin. Wolves were never “re-introduced” into Wisconsin. They migrated from Minnesota naturally under federal protection. The “300” number this guy speaks of is also false because the original “goal” in the 1999 state management plan was 350 wolves. While this barstool biologist may claim that the killing seasons were introduced to “curtail the exploding population” we all know why they began. The killing seasons were for recreation and revenge no matter what the DNR and their lackeys claim. There was no “goal” to reduce the population to “600 wolves.” The Wisconsin DNR made it clear that their goal was to push the population down to the bare minimum of 350 as stated in their management plan. But we can’t forget that they are coming for your children. No barstool biologist proclamation would be complete without that blast of terror. The horrible grammar is also an indicator of his degree in Barstool Biology. Comments like this are why I have a love/hate relationship with the internet. Barstool biologists like this guy act like because they have a Facebook login they suddenly are an expert on biology or even history. They twist the narrative to match what their huntin’ buddies or groups like the National Redneck Rifle Association (NRA) tell them to believe.

Here is the next comment that I strongly encourage everyone to report to the USFWS:

Cory Campbell · Top Commenter
Shoot, shovel and shut up. Kill every last wolf you see and keep quiet about it. We can win the war against the DNR’s stupidity if you follow those three easy steps. This applies to cougars too.

Finally we have this genius making the claim that wolves were “released” in southern Wisconsin by the DNR to “control” the deer population.

Jennifer Baerwolf · Rio High School
There are wolves in our area now. If you read the article they had pictures from a trail camera of a Gray Wolf last year on this property. The DNR needs to quit releasing the animals down here in their attempts to control the Deer population.

These comments are just a sampling of the utter nonsense, lies, propaganda, and fear mongering that the internet allows morons to put forth. This is just ONE story from ONE website. The arrogant barstool biologists use Facebook and internet comment sections to spread their blatant lies and ignorance and while it is unknown how many people believe or even read their tripe it is very concerning that these people are the ones that agencies like the Wisconsin DNR seem to listen to while shutting out pro-wildlife voices.

While I like to advocate for ignoring the barstool biologists and the anti-wolf trolls that infect the internet, I am afraid that the Wisconsin DNR actually listens to these ignoramuses while ignoring the rest of us out. I am asking my readers how you think we should respond to these barstool biologists and trolls. Should we ignore them? Should we respond with facts?

Let me know what you think? What is the best way to counter these blatant lies and misinformation?

 

Wisconsin’s Most Rabid Anti-Wolf Zealot is Up To Her Old Tricks Again With Fear Mongering County Board Resolution

Arthur_Rackham_Little_Red_Riding_Hood

The Polk County Board apparently believes that Little Red Riding Hood is non-fiction.

It should come as no surprise that fear mongering and rural arrogance plays a front and center role when it comes to wolves and other wildlife in Wisconsin. Even when wolves were not listed under the Endangered Species Act from 2012 to 2014 the anti-wolf factions were still pushing for their numbers to be reduced to a token sum or for outright eradication. Wisconsin made sure to comply to these demands by immediately instituting three reckless and brutal killing seasons with arbitrary “quotas” that were ignored each year, the inclusion of packs of vicious dogs to be used against wolves, unregulated “training” of those same dogs against wolves 24/7/365, and allowing killing to be done in other barbaric ways with little to no oversight.

Even with the state sanctioned persecution and eradication policies it was still never enough for the rabid anti-wolf factions hellbent on completely eliminating the species from the landscape of Wisconsin. Disgusting, sexist, racist, and exploitative anti-wolf sites began to fester all over the internet and especially on Facebook. One in particular had open boasting from it’s “fans” about poaching and other illegal acts being carried out against wolves. In fact a recent study conducted by scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that contrary to the propaganda of the anti-wolf factions that pushed the disgusting 2012 Wisconsin wolf kill bill, the state sanctioned killing seasons made the anti-wolf factions hate the species even more.

“There was a notion held widely in the scientific literature and said at public meetings that a public hunting season would increase acceptance of wolves,” says Adrian Treves, professor in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and co-author of the study. In fact, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources cited “maintaining social tolerance” as a goal of the wolf harvest in a statement in 2013.

Treves isn’t certain whether most hunters in Wisconsin will ever embrace wolves because the predators feed on the white-tailed deer that hunters value. He suggests the harvest may have reduced the value of wolves in Wisconsin relative to other game species — permit prices were cut in half after the first year — consistent with findings demonstrated by studies of other large carnivores throughout the world.

Even after the reckless killing seasons of 2012 through 2014 the hate of this species has only seemed to intensify. The anti-wolf killing cartels continue to spread lies and propaganda that blame wolves for the alleged “decline” in the deer population and for being a “threat” to children and grandchildren all over the world. Even though the anti-wolf Wisconsin DNR itself published a survey showing vast support for the wolf population and studies showing that harsh winters, starvation, and other predators have taken a far larger toll on the sacred deer population, the anti-wolf fear mongers still seek to push the species back to near or total eradication.

One of the backdoor tactics that has been used over the last several years by anti-wolf zealot(s) has been to get the county boards in rural northern counties in Wisconsin to adopt “resolutions” stating that they want 350 or LESS wolves in Wisconsin. The chief proponent of these resolutions is none other than the rabid anti-wolf zealot Laurie Groskopf. Groskopf has been know for a long time as being the loudest voice among the anti-wolf zealots in Wisconsin seeking to push the species back to the brink. While sitting on the boards of two of the most vocal anti-wolf groups, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, Groskopf has been allowed to represent both on the Wisconsin DNR’s anti-wolf “wolf advisory committee.” Groskopf is also a long time member of the anti-wolf Wisconsin Conservation Congress and has used that platform to push her agenda for wolf eradication. However, in recent months even the rabidly anti-wolf Conservation Congress has refused to adopt the extreme proposals Groskopf has been pushing for and that has led her to write to various newspapers to throw a hissy fit. Most laughable of all was the letter that she wrote to the openly “liberal” Capital Times in Madison whining about how poor Laurie was no longer going to work with the Conservation Congress because they didn’t adopt her wolf eradication proposals.

Dear Editor: When I got involved with the Wisconsin Conservation Congress, many of my friends said I would be disappointed. They said the Congress existed to rubber-stamp DNR policies.

I thought the Congress was the greatest idea since sliced bread. Imagine, a citizen-based organization created for the purpose of influencing public policy. The essence of our democracy is allowing regular people to have input into administrative and legislative decisions.

After more than five frustrating years, I’ve decided this “good old boys club” is not fulfilling its purpose. As a respected fellow delegate told me, “With the Congress, it’s not what you know but who you know.”

One example: No Wolf Committee resolution passed at the spring hearings has enjoyed the support of WCC leaders in the past five years. A 2011 vote approved a wolf population goal, with 3,989 in favor and 827 opposed. However, the Wolf Committee chair, handpicked by the Congress chair, chose to support a different population goal than the one approved by the public at the spring hearings.

The annual spring hearings are Monday, April 13, in each of our 72 counties. Citizens are allowed to introduce resolutions, and they vote on resolutions that have gone through a rigorous WCC process. But if these resolutions are ignored by the Congress leaders, what is the point of attending these hearings?

Sadly, my friends were right. I have decided that the Congress leadership is dedicated to pleasing the DNR upper management. The WCC’s purpose has been subverted, and its promise goes unfulfilled. I’m moving on to more productive pursuits.

Laurie Groskopf

Tomahawk

Do you need any tissue yet? This next letter from LG to the Wausau Daily Herald will surely make you cry.

Did you ever wonder what happens to those Wisconsin Conservation Congress spring hearing resolutions introduced by locals in each county? Sometimes the answer is that they get squashed by the WCC leadership.

This happened recently with two local resolutions from last year’s Marathon County spring hearing. The subject of both was the wolf situation.

One resolution was to provide unlimited harvest opportunities for wolves in harvest Zone 6, which was originally called “unsuitable wolf habitat” by the DNR experts. The experts later abandoned that label because they felt there were ample opportunities for wolves to live in most areas of Wisconsin originally designated as inferior wolf habitat.

The resolution, which passed in Marathon County with a vote of 122 in favor and 29 against, promoted an unlimited quota in wolf harvest Zone 6.

Local resolutions pass through an assigned committee, and if forwarded are considered by an executive council of the WCC every January. If the council forwards the resolution, it appears on the spring hearing questionnaire in April. If it is rejected, it dies.

The executive council discussed Marathon County’s resolution, and the chief DNR lawyer, Tim Andryk, told the group that the judges wouldn’t find this acceptable. He means federal judges, such as the one who recently returned wolves to endangered species status until their numbers are restored throughout their historic range.

Since when do we manage wildlife according to what some eastern judge thinks? The motion to allow unlimited wolf quotas in Zone 6 was rejected by the WCC executive council (see January minutes on the DNR web site).

A second resolution attempted to convince the WCC representative on the DNR’s wolf advisory committee to support the 2011 spring hearing vote for a wolf goal of 350 or fewer.

When it came time to vote at the DNR advisory committee, the representative called the committee dysfunctional, moved to have DNR staff select the options to present in the draft wolf management plan (this was rejected) and refused to vote on the official position of the WCC.

So this resolution also was not forwarded to the spring hearing.

Twenty-five county boards have passed resolutions supporting a wolf goal of 350, or 350 or fewer. The Wisconsin Farm Bureau, Farmers Union and numerous other agriculture organizations support this goal. Almost every major hunting organization supports a wolf goal of either 350 or 350 or less.

With the upcoming county deer committees scheduled for March and the WCC spring hearings scheduled in April, one has to ask whether it is worth devoting time to such efforts that are largely controlled by DNR staff and WCC leaders who often seem intent on rubber-stamping the DNR’s decisions. After over five years associating with WCC in a very intensive manner, I will no longer be wasting my time attempting to influence natural resource policies through WCC meetings.

Laurie Groskopf lives in Tomahawk.

Apparently now that LG feels abandoned by the Conservation Congress she is going back to her old tried and true method of getting county boards to pass resolutions that build on the fear mongering myths and propaganda that led wolves to be eradicated the first time in this state. On May 19, 2015 the Polk County Board approved a resolution in support of the having 350 or LESS wolves in the state and that wolves were a threat to your pets and children, especially if they walk around the woods wearing red hoods. While Groskopf is not specifically mentioned in the article, this resolution has her fingerprints all over it along with the resolution submission bearing her name on the Polk County website.

In anticipation of Wisconsin regaining control over its gray wolf population, the Polk County Board passed a resolution May 19 in support of keeping wolf numbers to 350 or fewer in the state. The resolution chiefly concerns wolves in northern Wisconsin, where the core population resides. 

David MacFarland, large carnivore specialist for Wisconsin’s DNR, said that when the number was established, there were about 200 wolves in the state, and 350 was set as a goal. There has been some debate since over whether it was ever meant to be considered a cap. (It was NOT)

According to MacFarland, the resolution Polk’s board approved is a citizen-led initiative meant to influence the agency as it creates a wolf management plan.

“The DNR is in the process of writing a species management plan that would contain various objectives,” said MacFarland. ‘The resolution is aimed at pressuring the DNR to adopt a population of 350.”

According to MacFarland, whether the DNR adopts that number or not, it will first approach the public. The agency is planning to hold meetings throughout the state from mid to late summer to ask the public what kind of wolf management it would like.

Then the fear mongering and “them wolf’s done be eatin’ all the deer” lies begin:

Among Polk County Board members, reasons for reducing the wolf population included wolves’ threat to deer, livestock, pets and humans.

“When you have a high wolf population, they affect the deer,” said Supervisor Patricia Schmidt, Luck, as she introduced the resolution. “[Wolves] affect the farm livestock and family pets.”

Board Chair William Johnson noted that he wasn’t aware of any claims that had come to the Community, Development, Recreation and Education Committee for damage done by wolves, but he imagined that predation on the deer population was evident.

Sound familiar? These are the exact same scare tactics folks like LG, the killing cartels, politicians, and big ag interests have been using for years. All of these claims have been proven false time and time again yet the lies persist. But the real reason for this resolution reared it’s head later in the hearing:

Supervisor Jay Luke, Amery, defended the population goal, saying that the maximum had been established through a series of hearings, with experts weighing in to set a number for a healthy population. The limit is meant to keep wolves from expanding into high-population areas.

Luke also argued that special interest groups were responsible for the wolf’s current protected listing.

“They sit in an urban area and dictate what we should be doing in western Wisconsin,” said Luke. “I’m in full support of this to let our government do what’s necessary to control what we believe is a problem.”

There was never a “maximum” number established. There was a “goal” number that would allow the state to “manage” the species but it was never intended to be a maximum. If that is the case then every single species in Wisconsin should be “managed” to the “goal” number and no higher. That should include deer. It’s only fair, right?

Then we have the old complaint of “interest groups” being responsible for the relisting of the wolves in the Great Lakes. The anti-wolf/wildlife factions across the country always complain about “outside interest groups” when things do not go the way they want them to go. Funny how there seems to be no mention of the anti-wolf “interest groups” that wrote the 2012 wolf kill bill and are lobbying congress to pass legislation that will destroy the Endangered Species Act.

Those comments aside we then see the real reason for this resolution. In another example of rural arrogance people like Jay Luke stomp their feet and scream that no one from the “big city” is going to tell them what to do. Apparently there aren’t other problems for rural Wisconsin and Polk County to deal with other than the scourge of wolves. How about the recent article complaining about how some how rural Wisconsin residents claim that they have a hard time “accessing” food? Also, Polk County should really be worried about the real predators and monsters in their midst. Take for example the recent arrest of several people involved in a cock fighting ring in Polk and St. Croix Counties. Maybe those are the predators and real monsters that these people need to worry about being around their children instead of fear mongering over the big bad wolf?

Only one member of the Polk County Board spoke out against this fear mongering “don’t tell me what to do” resolution. 

The lone voice of objection to the 350 maximum came from Supervisor Warren Nelson, Amery.

“I have a problem limiting wolves for a couple of reasons,” he said. “Wolves control the deer and elk populations, which protects vegetation from being over-consumed.”

Nelson cited the re-balancing of the ecosystem in Yellowstone National Park after wolves were reintroduced there as evidence of his assertion.

According to Nelson — and contrary to the idea that wolf predation costs the county in claims for damage to livestock and pets — Polk approves more claims for damage done by deer, which get into feed and crops, than by wolves.

Nelson went on to question the legitimacy of the resolution’s claim that wolves are a threat to people.

“I’ve never heard of a documented case of a wolf attacking a human, and I see that’s part of this resolution, to protect humans,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen. … I think it would be reckless to kill off half of the wolf population.”

Thank you Mr. Nelson for being the lone voice of reason among the fear mongering bumpkins that sit on the board with you. You didn’t buy into LG’s lies and propaganda and we thank you for that. The rest should be ashamed for buying into the lies and barstool biology that is trying to dominate the narrative of wolves in Wisconsin. Please take the time to thank Board Member Nelson for being the only one of the group not to buy into the lies and fear mongering approved in this resolution. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask the other board members why they believe the lies and misinformation that Laurie Groskopf and her fellow barstool biologists spread in these resolutions.

Polk County Board Members