If anymore evidence was needed about what an absolutely cruel and vile state Wisconsin is, look no farther than the events of the past five days regarding our gray wolf population. As a “quick” summary this is what happened.
An out of state trophy killing organization that is run by a far right Koch Brother alum, a disgraced bigot, a draft dodging convicted poacher, wildlife snuff film makers, and a smattering of other bigots, poachers, and cretins sued the State of Wisconsin and demanded that an immediate wolf killing season begin. Of course they just happened to find a judge, a gun aficionado and “hunter,” in the wolf saturated area of Jefferson County in SE Wisconsin (that was sarcasm) who ruled in their favor and ordered to Wisconsin DNR to immediately plan and carry out a wolf slaughter in February.
Want to know a little more about this Jefferson County Judge? Here is a quote from when he was sworn in in 2017:
“Judgeship is a nonpartisan position and I can honestly say I’ve never been completely affiliated with one party or the other,” he said. “I do have strong beliefs on the Second Amendment that I share with Judge Koschnick. In fact, I think I have stronger because I have more weapons.”
The hunter’s comment earned a round of roaring laughter from those in attendance.
Guns and killin’. How hilarious!
The Wisconsin Department of Justice filed an appeal and request for an expedited stay with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Milwaukee. The appeals court is currently weighing the appeal and stay request. In the meantime on Monday, February 15th the VERY anti-wolf Natural Resources Board decided to stick a thumb in the eye of both the DNR and wildlife advocates by ordering a statewide kill quota of 200 wolves, doubling the DNR’s kill permit recommendation to 4,000, and completely shut out any tribal input by ordering that no kill zone is to be closed until the full quota is met. That is in total violation of the requirements of the 1983 federal court Voigt decision that allows tribes to claim up to 50 percent of the states kill quota of a species in the ceded territories. The DNR of course dutifully commenced sucking up to the walking and talking conflicts of interest on the Natural Resources Board and the board voted UNANIMOUSLY to double the kill permits and shut out tribal claims.
What does this mean? It means that if the appeals court allows the disgusting order from the hunter/judge in Jefferson County to stand, at least 200 wolves will be slaughtered from February 22-28 with packs of hounds, traps, bullets, and arrows along with little to no oversight. For example because of the NRB’s unanimously passed “motion” yesterday it appears that even if one single zone ends up with 200 wolves killed despite there being a quota, none of the other zones can be closed until those individual zone quotas are met. In 2014 we saw one “zone” in particular go DOUBLE over the allotted kill quota and this is VERY likely to occur in multiple zones next week because of the reckless number of permits allowed and the very generous and absurd process for the time the wolf killers are allowed to report their kills. In other words there is a VERY good chance that far more than 200 wolves could be “legally” killed and the DNR will still not close the killing season before February 28th.
Does that horrify you? It should because this is what Wisconsin is all about in a nutshell. Chaos, cruelty, and hypocrisy is what much of this state thrives on and make no mistake, this is only the beginning. The far right gerrymandered legislature, anti-wolf Natural Resources Board, and some in the DNR itself are giddy that wolves are able to be slaughtered all on the whim of an extremist far right Koch front group and activist judge. Funny how these people decry “activist” judges when they rule in favor of pro-wildlife causes yet praise them when they twist laws and use flawed ideology to justify chaos and cruelty. This mass slaughter isn’t about “conservation” or an interpretation of “the law.” This is about “owning the libs” and asserting dominance over our state and system of government which has been the Koch Brother playbook for the past decade. Just remember that hundreds of wolves are going to be slaughtered next week in Wisconsin because of an out of state far right dark money group that has Ted Nugent and Kris Kobach on their “board” and lawyers from another dark money far right legal group allied with nefarious elements of our legislature.
Don’t you just love what passes for “democracy” and “justice” in Wisconsin? We will keep you updated as things move forward with the appeal and the reckless killing season and what, if any, actions you can take.