A few minutes ago I received a comment from site reader “gannonned” where he shared the letter that he wrote responding to Rep. Scott Suder’s (R-ALEC, WBHA) untrue claims about the wolf kill bill that he “authored.” Here is the letter:
Dear Representative Suder,
In recent comments, you stated that the public supports your legislation on wolves, which includes hunting with dogs and traps. I am a member of the public to which you refer, and I do not support these measures. More controlled hunting in areas that have seen predations without the use of dogs or traps would be a much more sensible, effective, and humane way to approach this issue. I am disappointed that you also say that the DNR should be left to manage this when many in that office have raised concerns and worries over the way legislators like you are disregarding their voice over how to progress with a wolf hunting season. The Natural Resources Board is calling the shots, and it consists of politicians, not experts on wildlife management.
I would like to highlight a few facts. First, citizens of Wisconsin will now pay taxes to compensate bear hunters, coyote hunters, deer hunters, and hunters of anything but wolves if their dogs are killed by wolves. However, if we are honst, there is no way to verify what a hunter is after when his/her dog is killed. As a taxpayer and a person who personally thinks hunting with dogs is distasteful (it puts the dogs in “harms” way), I object to this. I do not object to paying taxes that go toward livestock compensations. Furthermore, as Jurewicz states, “…it’s like they’re asking for trouble…” (quoted in Eau Claire Leader Telegram) by making wolves more wary and likely more aggressive to dogs through this approach.
Secondly, I object to several of the choices the current administration is making. The hunting season is too long, allowing hunters to kill wolves that are pregnant or not full grown. I also object to the permissiveness of hunting with dogs and trapping which are both more vicious ways to kill a predator than simply shooting it. They also take less skill on the part of the hunter. Many hunters know they will not even find a wolf if they are not allowed to trap it or stalk it with dogs.
Thirdly, the hunting provisions seem to in no way account for hotspots in terms of predator conflicts in the form of predations on dogs or livestock. The hunt should be limited in scope to areas that have traditionally had these incidents to create a sense of boundaries. When all is said and done, predations are very low, and this hunt amounts to the decisions of a special interest minority.
When the biologists (Wydeven, Thiel), wildlife researchers (Van Deleen), Department of Endangered Species experts (Jurewicz) and the knowledgeable employees of the Department of Natural Resources are stating their tolerance for a wolf hunt but say it is being mishandled, why are we not listening? “The final versions of the bills approved by the Legislature include more of the influence of the Wisconsin Bear Hunters’ Association and their persuasive lobbyist Bob Welch…than the concerns of the biologists…” (Quoted from the Eau Claire Leader Telegram). It’s time we began listening to science, reason and sense in the political sphere and not to the loudest or wealthiest voices. You may think the public is behind you because you are only listening to a portion of it. I hope you will listen to the other side as well and truly represent the people of Wisconsin. Otherwise, you may demonstrate to the country that the legislators of Wisconsin are, indeed, not capable of managing our wolf population at the state level.
Eau Claire, WI
Thank you so much for writing this outstanding letter Mr. Gannon. Suder has ignored all of the concerns of living wildlife advocates since he has been in office. By making our concerns public it forces him to defend the abhorrent practices that he supports. This quote from Suder’s column shows how truly arrogant this man is:
“As a result, I worked with DNR staff along with hunters and farmers on drafting this legislation. I gave the DNR great flexibility in creating rules to achieve a framework for the hunting and trapping season including setting quotas, zones and permit levels.”
He “gave” the DNR flexibility. Since when did Scott Suder become the one who determines what happens to our wildlife? Notice how he also again refuses to tell us who he “worked with” at the DNR. It certainly wasn’t the biologists. This guy must be called out for his arrogance and dominionist attitude. Keep flooding his office with letter, emails and phone calls. As a public servant we demand that he answer the true concerns of the public, not just “hunters and farmers.”
Thank you again Mr. Gannon for sending this letter.