Since the posting of the allegations that a DNR employee(s) gave confidential information regarding the precise GPS locations of wolf den sites to wolf hunters/trappers/hounders, nothing has been said that makes these allegations any less credible. The talking heads at the DNR have been trying to deny and spin these allegations almost non-stop. Their response and panic leads me to believe there is indeed credibility to at least some of the allegations. Here is a response from the DNR received by a Wisconsin wildlife advocate that spoke to one of the sources:
“I think your source is mistaken on the den site information. I even communicated with a longtime volunteer tracker today who heard about this from a person who told her this is made available at the wolf count assembly meetings in April, but she said that has never happened in all the years she has gone to those meetings and these people don’t have information on den sites…and the person who suggested this had never even been to such a meeting.
I looked into this further, talking with Research (Dave MacFarland), Wolf Program Data manager (Jane Wiedenhoeft), and BER Natural Heritage Inventory database manager (Julie Bleser). All say the kind of information that is believed to be release is not released, not useful to hunters/trappers, not up to date, and not comprehensive.
Jane has a database of 80 den site locations, but only 1 was from 2012 and 2 from 2011. Wolves frequently change den site locations. Wolves do not hang out at den sites during the hunting/trapping season, and there would be little value to a hunter and trapper if they even had this information. Jane says only she, Adrian and a couple other people know how to find her dataset. There is no way that they would release this information.
Dave said he is not aware of any researchers who would even be collecting den site information and that if it was a University, they would not release the data. DNR Science Services does not have such information.
Julie Bleser says the Natural Heritage Inventory dataset only tells permitted users if they have a hit for a den site for an area, but mostly has outdated data, and doesn’t give a GPS coordinate for a den site. No one can get GPS locations even through a FOIA request. They are tracked as a state special concern species, she says, but we probably don’t need to collect this information any more (I say).
We have produced maps of wolf territories that are commonly available. But, these territories cover much of the northern and central forests, so they would not be that valuable to hunters or trappers to narrow their search either. We did have a request from a bear hunter to revised a wolf report earlier this spring to provide maps of pack territories. The report was revised to provide this information, but we have presented it at public meetings around the state already as part of the sessions on the emergency rule. I wonder if this is what they are thinking about.
We provide locations where dogs are attacked by wolves as caution areas on our website, but these are not den site locations.
I’m not going to spend any more time on this wild goose chase.”
William (Bill) J. Vander Zouwen Jr.
Chief, Wildlife Ecology Section
Bureau of Wildlife Management
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707
Wild goose chase? Really? If the allegations are so far fetched then why did a VERY knowledgeable, and very RELIABLE source with DIRECT ties to the DNR confirm the allegations again yesterday? Remember there are MULTIPLE UNRELATED (except for DNR ties) sources that relayed this information to several wildlife advocates and are adamant the information is true because they have FIRSTHAND knowledge of what occurred.
Whether or not this information was used during the last killing season is irrelevant. We are concerned about the data being used by hounders while “training” their dogs during future denning seasons. Does anyone really think that hounders would not use this data to target wolves at their most vulnerable to “train” their packs on. Why else would they propose to “train” their dogs until the end of March? The hounders have also made it publicly known that they are seeking breeds of dogs such as Airedales and Wolf Hounds that are known for their aggression toward wolves. So much for their propaganda of just “trailing” and “flushing” wolves. They are looking into breeds that are bred to FIGHT wolves and everyone know this. That is why the DNR does not want any breed restrictions put in place.
I will leave it up to you to decide whether or not the allegations are true. If anything the DNR certainly knows people are watching.
On another note here is another outstanding article from George Wuerthner that breaks down everything that we have been talking about concerning DNR funding and pandering to kill everything groups. He describes what is occurring in wolf hating states like Wisconsin exactly as it is. Please read and share: