New Richmond, WI- Representative Rob Stafsholt (R-New Richmond) issued the following statement in reaction to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removing the gray wolf from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the Western Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin.
“I have been working on wolf issues in Wisconsin for close to 20 years, long before I was in the Legislature. The most frustrating thing regarding our wolf population was watching as people from as far away as Florida thought they knew how to manage Wisconsin’s wolves better than our own biologists, farmers, and sportsmen and women. I am thrilled to see the role of managing our wolf population is now back in Wisconsin’s hands. Therefore, I am calling on the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to implement a 2020 harvest season for wolves in Wisconsin.
“Proper wildlife management of these animals will benefit Wisconsin’s outdoor heritage and its strong agricultural background, while ensuring that these animals maintain a healthy and manageable population. The science has been proven; these wolves have fully recovered in Wisconsin and our surrounding states.
“This designation has returned management to the state. Under state statutes, the DNR is required to implement a harvest season, unless preempted by federal law. Wisconsin law establishes a wolf hunting season once federal protections are removed to begin on the first Saturday in November, and conclude on February 28th.
“I am confident in Wisconsin’s ability to manage its wolf populations. I have no doubt that our science- based approach in managing these predators will not only benefit Wisconsinites, but also the wildlife, agricultural herds, and the pets they prey upon.
“Under the state wolf plan, Wisconsin has a population goal of 350 animals, yet information provided by the DNR’s population estimates put the wolf population over 1300 animals.”