In the wake of the highly dubious non-“attack” against a great white hunter and NRA propaganda poster boy last month Adams County Wisconsin the Wisconsin DNR and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are seeking to eradicate wolves in the Colburn WILDLIFE Area despite the species allegedly being under ESA protections.
Normally I am critical of the pro-hunting writing done by Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, “outdoor writer” Paul Smith, but he deserves credit for bringing this to the public despite the Wisconsin DNR and USFWS apparently trying to keep it secret for as long as possible.
A September incident in Adams County in which a man said he was approached by three wolves was not an “attack,” according to an investigation by federal and state law enforcement officials.
However, efforts are underway to trap and kill wolves at the public property where the incident took place.
The trapping was initiated after Department of Natural Resources managers determined that wolves at Colburn Wildlife Area presented a risk to visitors, said Dave MacFarland, DNR large carnivore specialist.
A provision of the Endangered Species Act allows lethal removal of “specimens which pose a demonstrable but non-immediate threat to human safety.”
The decision was made after consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MacFarland said.
“We’ve used (trapping and lethal removal) before in compliance with our public safety response protocol,” MacFarland said. “This one is getting more attention.”
The trapping began Oct. 16; it is being conducted by agents with the Wildlife Services division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Despite acknowledging that the alleged encounter with the “hunter” was not an “attack” the Wisconsin DNR and USFWS have decided to eradicate wolves in this WILDLIFE AREA. If wolves cannot live in areas designated for wildlife then where can they live? The reality is that wolf hating states like Wisconsin and others will allow no more than a token population and will use any excuse to kill them in conjunction with the anti-wolf USFWS.
One of the prime reasons that a federal judge relisted wolves in the Great Lakes was because of inadequate “management” plans that kept the species in isolated pockets. It seems that, especially in Wisconsin, the moment wolves migrate out of their isolated pockets in the northern part of the state they must be eradicated. This is shameful and a direct affront to the ESA and wildlife advocates. It’s bad enough that for three years wolf haters were allowed to go deep into wolf habitat, trap, arrow, hound, bait, and destroy entire wolf packs, now they are eradicating packs just because of ONE alleged incident involving a convicted wildlife rule violator that just happened to run right to an NRA propaganda magazine right after the non-attack.
As of Tuesday, no wolf had been caught, according to the DNR.
The trapping initiative falls in the wake of a Sept. 23 incident at Colburn, a 4,965-acre public property.
Matthew Nellessen, 34, of Friendship was traveling alone on foot and scouting for a deer-hunting spot when he said he was attacked by three wolves.
According to Nellessen’s account, he shot and wounded one of the wolves with his .38-caliber pistol.
He reported the incident to the DNR. State and federal law enforcement officers accompanied Nellessen to the spot of the incident the following day.
A short blood trail was found, but no wolf, said Todd Schaller, DNR chief warden.
Nellessen was not charged for his actions.
“Through a joint investigation of the USFWS and DNR, and information we were able to obtain through the USFWS interview, there will be no law enforcement action taken (against Nellessen),” said Schaller.
The Wisconsin DNR and other anti-wolf government agencies and killing cartels have been looking for ways to continue the eradication tactics they adopted since 2012 following the December 2014 re-listing. It looks like they found their tactic. It looks like they found it. Just as I wrote about in the last blog post when a great white hunter merely sees a wolf it becomes a call for eradication. This ONE non-“attack” and the response to eradicate a wolf population in a WILDLIFE AREA opens the door for every single anti-wolf element in the state to claim other non-“attacks” and then the WI DNR and USFWS will come in with traps and guns blazing. This is shameful but unfortunately a common practice used by anti-wolf states to keep the populations isolated to small pockets and prevent them from migrating. We see this also in Wyoming, where they have been practicing an “under the radar” eradication, Minnesota, where keeping wolves in one area is written into their “management plan,” and in Wisconsin where anti-wolf groups like the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, SCI, and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation seek to have open eradication in the Southern two-thirds of the state (Laurie Groskopf sits on the board of both groups).
Mark my words. Now that the WI DNR and USFWS are doing this eradication based on a highly dubious non-“attack” we will be seeing these tactics deployed over and over again to get rid of wolves all over the state to appease the anti-wolf killing cartels like the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association.
Adams County, toward the southern end of Wisconsin’s wolf range, has had two wolf packs since at least 2010, according to DNR reports.
MacFarland said the Adams County wolves have not caused problems in the past.
As a result of Nellessen’s encounter, however, the DNR added a notation to its 2015 list of wolf depredations and other incidents. The Oct. 1 update includes a check mark in Adams County for a “non-livestock threat.”
Two confirmed cases of wolf depredations on livestock have occurred this year in the southern half of Wisconsin, one each in Columbia and Crawford counties.
Nellessen’s incident and the agencies’ handling of it have drawn added attention because, if confirmed, it would have been the first verified wolf attack on a human in Wisconsin.
Since their investigation and interviews found no physical contact with the wolves and no injury to Nellessen, law enforcement officials did not classify it as an attack.
“It can become a semantic argument,” MacFarland said. “No matter how it’s described, it’s a case where the department is following its protocol following a threat to human safety.”
MacFarland said the trapping effort is being evaluated daily and results will dictate how long it continues.
They even admit that it’s not an “attack” yet the wolves have to die anyway?
As I have stated before it’s quite amazing that the only people ever “attacked” or “threatened” by wolves are great white hunters and others that already hate the species. Why don’t we hear about hikers having non-“attacks” or being “threatened?” I and other wildlife advocates can see right through the game being played by anti-wolf government agencies and the killing cartels that pull their strings. They are frustrated at the fact Congress hasn’t yet been able to strip protections from wolves in the Great Lakes and Wyoming so they are coming up with alternate near-eradication and harassment plans to keep wolves at bare minimum numbers without attracting too much attention to their real motives. They use fragile excuses like “threats to human safety” and “livestock depredation” to continue with their eradication policies.
If wolves aren’t even allowed to be seen or live in WILDLIFE AREAS then where can they exist? Even in the areas where they are “allowed” to live, such as in our National Forests, they are still subjected to non -stop harassment by thousands of loose hounds, traps, and being baited into one of the almost 70,000 bear bait piles and 5 MILLION gallons of bait spread around the northern 1/3 of the state.
Following decades of massive deer overpopulation and the non-stop deer killing seasons the deer population in Wisconsin appears to finally be reaching a reasonable level that the ecosystem can support. Unfortunately that’s not good enough for the great white hunters in Wisconsin and the DNR. Brutal winters, endless killing seasons, vehicle crashes, and disease have allegedly brought deer numbers down slightly over the past decade and of course the great white hunters blame the few hundred wolves in the state despite facts to the contrary. Add in the constant whining by the bear hounders and it’s obvious what the endgame of the puppet Wisconsin DNR is. Wolves will pay the price despite the DNR themselves admitting through their own studies that wolf predation on deer (you know, their natural diet) is minuscule at best. Despite that fact wolves will be pushed to near eradication in spite of their current ESA protections through the use of the loophole that says killing can occur to “specimens which pose a demonstrable but non-immediate threat to human safety.”
Mark my words this will be the first of many secret eradication operations to be carried out by the Wisconsin DNR and USFWS based on no-“attacks” and “threats” to great white hunters. This is their way to keep their near eradication policies in place while wolves are still under ESA protections.
Please contact the Wisconsin DNR and USFWS to express your outrage at this eradication operation and the fact there was no action taken in what they admit wasn’t an “attack.” If anymore evidence was needed to see the true intentions of the Wisconsin DNR and the Dan Ashe run USFWS to bring wolves back to the brink this is all one needs. If they can thumb their noses at the federal judge and ESA and use loopholes to continue their anti-wolf tactics what is the point of even having and ESA if a “protected” species can be killed just for being seen?
This species means as much ALIVE to us as it does dead to a tiny minority. It’s time we make that very clear.
Please politely express your outrage here:
USFWS Contact Information:
Regional Director: Tom Melius
Deputy Regional Director: Charlie Wooley
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
5600 American Blvd. West, Suite 990
Bloomington, MN 55437-1458
TTY: 1-800-877-8339 (Federal Relay)