http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/article_1b761d19-f531-521d-8db3-5241c23d04cb.html The link to submit a comment for the wolf is in this column.
Today's column is about the wolf. The DNR and hunting lobby (Wisconsin Wildlife Federation) have been lobbying Salazar to delist our 800 wolves for state "management" of an elite trophy slaughter. They have gathered almost 37,000 petition signatures to delist and kill our wolves. The hunting lobby at the last election (a PUBLIC election held annually for ALL citizens but primarily attended by hunters and trappers) voted to kill 450 of our 800 wolves (maybe 800 – very hard to tally especially with illegal kills). The Center for Biological Diversity has filed a lawsuit proposing the need for a 48 state plan for real wolf recovery since wolves only inhabit 5% of their former range. Wolves need large core areas of PROTECTED from man habitat connected by corridors for migration and genetic diversity.
Please watch the video in the column as it is quite beautiful. Also I give you the link to the entire documentary The Wolf Who Changed America about Seton and Lobo.
PLEASE COMMENT at the link given in my column. The Green Bay office of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service assured me this is a federal, not state, decision and that 37,000 people saying "WE LIKE TO KILL WOLVES" counts pretty much as one comment – and the diversity of scientific arguments will each count as additional comments. So please make the best argument you can.
Amongst talking points are:
– the unique role played by wolves in balancing ecosystems, competing with coyotes
– the essential role of strengthening prey animal behavioral response, and genetic improvement of herds
– Wolves on average take about 16 deer a year each – so if we had as many wolves in the state as bears, we would not "need" hunters at all – there is the rub
– Wolves rarely if ever attack humans and of course know we are a dangerous and unpredictable nonsensical species who kills for no reason at all
-Wolves only cover 5% of their range in a hodge podge of hunter designed state agency plans
-Wolves are under shoot shovel and shut-up illegal attack taking significant portions of small populations – Joel Trick in Green Bay office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service said a very low estimate of Wisconsin's illegal kill of wolves is 100 wolves – so 12% of the population – probably as much as 20%
– Wolves have strong family packs and loyalties…disrupting those packs with violence may have short and long term unknown consequences on dispersal, wolf predation and behavior
– Wolves are highly intelligent, sentient beings in tune with their environment
– Wolves can SMELL elderly, weak, or injured prey animals and take the easier prey targets which strengthen the web of life, and may actually put some starving or hunt-injured animal out of his or her misery more quickly than a slow winter death.
– Recently it has been discovered that there may be TWO species of wolves in Wisconsin. It is unsettled science whether there are two species, a hybrid that is not actually species category or what? As long as that it is unsettled – or if there are two – there should be no hunt and it should affect the wolf plans
– Hunters who control state agencies have designed plans for wolf numbers that are appallingly low and inadequate (for self interest).
– Real wolf recovery requires large core areas of protected habitat, corridors for migration, and as natural numbers of wolves as possible.
-Education is key to changing outdated demonization of wolves as "competitors" to human hunters, as cattle killers, as a danger to humans – all really inaccurate mythology – so the need for public education by state agencies
– We need the wolf to have a 48 state plan for real recovery so that wolves migrating in and out of states are not subject to capricious cattle ranchers and wolf haters and their destruction of our commons.