When it comes to the anti-wolf group stacked Wisconsin DNR Wolf Advisory Committee there is never any shortage of drama or arrogance on display. What follows below is a first person account by a dedicated wildlife advocate reporting from the October 8, 2014 Wolf Advisory Committee meeting. Comments in black are mine.
Here are some notes from Wednesday
Public comment period will begin 01/04/15 thru 02/05/15. No other specific details other than there will be five public comment locations (4-wolf range,1 non wolf range), opportunity for online input via a website and a “live chat”. Laurie Groskopf brought up that she suggested to the DNR that they have venues that can handle the crowds; she said this with a smile on her face. I’m sure she is pulling out all the stops on this and getting all the bear hounders, trappers, deer hunters, you name it.
Al Lobner complained about the pack names being removed this year. Hmmmm, wonder why? Due to the fact that both sides of the wolf management have been voicing concerns about transparency, the DNR is revisiting opening up some limited information.
Al Lobner had foot-in-mouth again:
When Al Lobner was objecting to the DNR removing wolf pack names this year he said, “…If theres a concern, (implying there shouldn’t be) if a person wants to hunt wolves, they know where they can find them.”
Education & Outreach
Needless to say, we went through this fairly quickly; I’m assuming since there was no killing involved 🙂 But a couple interesting notes:
Eric Koehns of Livestock – “Education and outreach program is blown out of proportion. Do we have an education program on black bear?”
Maybe because there aren’t websites devoted to poaching, poisoning, and “smoking a pack a day” of bears?
TWA & TWIN are listed on the original wolf plan as collaborative outreach organizations that worked with the DNR. They sponsor many of the tracking & ecology classes and are still considered partners.
Mike Brust – “a mistake to commit to this type of arrangement”.
But of course it’s not a “mistake” for the DNR to “partner” with the bear hounders and Wisconsin Trappers Association for killing classes is it?
Safari Club – Joe Kobeck said to “add other partners into education outreach” implying hunting groups should be added also.
Dave MacFarland stated to Mike Brust emphatically that TWA will be involved as they are holding tracking classes. Another DNR staff person also stated emphatically more than once how very important our core of volunteer trackers are to the wolf program in Wisconsin.
A last little note by Eric Koehns: “The attention that this wolf is getting (implying that it was ridiculous); we wouldn’t need to be here and they would be just fine!!”
Then stop crying about all of the “depredation” that allegedly occurs and remove yourself from the committee.
Hold on to your teeth for this one: Al Lobner stated, “we need to increase the depredation payment… $5,000”. Eric Koehns (LIvestock) disagreed with him and felt the payment should stay the same. “As a livestock producer, it’s a livelihood and an income. I think when they put their dogs in the woods that is a risk they should take.” In the end, the recommendation was as follows: “Develop a panel modeled after livestock compensation program to establish yearly fair market values for hounds”. Al Lobner knew of some dog experts…AKC? It was noted that most states’ Department of Agriculture pays for depredation (Minnesota does). Personally, I don’t think it’s going anywhere and I get the impression they’re doing this to appease him besides the fact that they don’t have the moxie to say “No more”. Nevertheless, the department has done their homework and they see what’s on social media for sale….
Isn’t that special? An advocate for freeloading livestock operators crying about freeloading bear hounders. You couldn’t script this stuff.
A comment came up that revenue sources are drying up in general. They haven’t raised license fees….in 20 years or so (legislative issue?) and number of hunters continues to go down.
I asked Wildlife Services about the multiple death/injuries incidents and he offered me a couple scenarios: one being that some wolf packs may be starting to strategize on taking out multiple dogs coming after them. He offered it could be the other way around also with the hounds being the aggressors? I don’t know BUT the DNR is watching closely.
With 24/7/365 “training” against wolves I would bet that it is the hounds being the aggressors.
DNR is finalizing invitation list for roundtable meeting. It will be taking place before the public comment periods.
This is just a small snapshot of the arrogance and brazen demands made by members of this hunting lobby/ag lobby stacked committee. Hounders want more and more and more while lobbyists for livestock interests whine about the hounders and even cry about attending the meetings. These freeloaders are never satisfied and if they got their way and eliminated the wolf they would them move on to the next “boogeyman” to continue feeding at the “depredation” trough.