Two Small But Very Welcome “Victories” From Conservation Congress Elections

09 Apr
Howl for Melissa!!!!

Howl for Melissa!!!!

For the first time in over a decade wildlife advocates have a friend on Wisconsin’s dubiously named “Conservation Congress.” WE VOW friend and supporter, Melissa Smith, won a resounding victory last night at the yearly ELECTIONS to represent Dane County on the Congress. While the Conservation Congress does not wield the power that it once did, this is still a massive victory for wildlife advocates across the state.

From Melissa:

I am honored to have been elected to the Wisconsin Conservation Congress and look forward to helping to form recommendations to the DNR that are ethically and scientifically sound. I have my work cut out for me for sure. However, I am saddened that statewide, other delegates felt intimidated and overwhelmed by the really extreme hunters and trappers. I am grateful to have brought light to some of these issues such as how important it is for all citizens to attend, wolf /dog fighting and hunting and trapping in state parks. We DID win the vote about not using dogs to hunt wolves!!!! However, other results are in…expand hunting and trapping in state parks, 2922 yes, 1922 no…year round coyote hunting, 3368 yes, 1335 no..and checking weasel traps every 4 days vs daily majority voted yes. This is why it is my main goal as a delegate to make the WCC very transparent and available for all citizens to vote.

Opponent of hunting and trapping in Wisconsin state parks unseats Dane County incumbent on DNR advisory committee

Please join us in congratulating Melissa as we know she will not make it easy on the “good ole boys” running the “congress.” We are so proud of you!

Also in more welcome news from last nights ELECTIONS a majority of attendees voted that they support a law that would ban the use of dogs against wolves. Here was the question:

68. Would you favor legislation to prohibit the use of dogs to hunt and training dogs to hunt wolves?

Surprisingly voters agreed with this 2631 voted yes and 2494 voted no. In a state of almost 6 million people a question like this should be on a real ballot referendum, but we will take the small victory.

Finally in an article that floored me over the weekend it seems that even kill everything proponents like “outdoor” writer Patrick Durkin are catching on to and calling out the DNR and Natural Resources Board for their unethical and possibly corrupt practices. I can’t believe I am writing this but I actually for the first time agree with Patrick Durkin about the dubious “committee” selection procedures of the DNR. From Durkin:

The lack of selection criteria also raises eligibility and “deck stacking” concerns on the deer and bear committees. For instance, the Hunters Rights Coalition and its lobbyist, Bob Welch, represent the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and state chapters of Safari Club International. However, the HRC and SCI are both on the revamped deer committee, and the HRC and WBHA are both on the bear committee. Who gets to talk, to vote?

Besides, how can the HRC qualify as a partner on six of 13 committees so far? It’s a lobbying group, not a membership organization. It has no website, newsletter or membership roll, and its Facebook page has two “likes” and no content. And its founder, Greg Kazmierski of Pewaukee, is secretary of the DNR Board.

How does a paid lobbying group end up on “professional wildlife committees?” Bob “Conneticuit Effect” Welch is a lobbyist for slob hunting groups. He is not a “wildlife professional.” So why is he and his group on almost half of the committees? This is the kind of pay to play garbage that people in other states go to jail for, but apparently is perfectly accepted here in Wisconsin. You can bet that we are going to be all over this in the future.

Pat Durkin column: DNR loses credibility with committee revamp




13 responses to “Two Small But Very Welcome “Victories” From Conservation Congress Elections

  1. rajaju

    April 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks………… well done……

  2. Nancy Keiter

    April 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Congratulations Melissa on getting your foot in the door that’s a big step forward now they can’t slam the door in your face and congratulations to everybody who went out to vote and stopped the hunting dogs on the wolves that’s one less thing the wolves have to deal with. Now damm the torpedoes full speed ahead .

  3. Nancy Keiter

    April 9, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Congratulations Melissa on getting your foot in the door that’s a big step forward now they can’t slam the door in your face and congratulations to everybody who went out to vote and stopped the hunting dogs on the wolves that’s one less thing the wolves have to deal with. Now damn the torpedoes full speed ahead !!

  4. Nancy Keiter

    April 9, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Sorry I’ve been having strong malware strikes and it tried to attack the same time I sent this why damn is spell two different ways I have no idea it’s driving me bonkers!!!!

  5. sierradragoncaller

    April 10, 2013 at 3:31 am

    Congrat’s and Kudo’s We need you and thanks for the upbeat news. Wisconsin is in Dire need of help, we have to try and get this dog vs wolf stopped again. Congrat’s, very well done. So proud, that was a hard win.. can not tell you enough how proud and grateful to see that you are in there.

  6. Suzanne Dunham

    April 10, 2013 at 5:03 am

    I was at the meeting in Rock County and it was a joke. It was a meeting for the good old boys!

  7. Wolf is my Soul

    April 10, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Reblogged this on Carinas space.

  8. laina

    April 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Congratulations Melissa and thank you. We have inched ahead! Good for Patrick Durkin.
    Let’s keep all reasonable lines of communication open. If we are strong, calm and dedicated allies we can keep moving forward.

  9. makemined

    April 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    The Dane County meeting might not be typical, and we turned in our ballots and left not too long after Melissa was elected (yay, Melissa!!) but I’d like to encourage others to attend future meetings. Having stayed away in previous years after all I’d heard, it was a surprise to attend, at last, and discover that the most arduous part was deciphering the nearly 100 questions and figuring out which line to stand in, etc.. It was not the best organized meeting. (E.g., Did anyone else think it was disturbing that the DNR official who ran the meeting responded to a request for the exact number of votes in the delegate election with, “Does it matter?”? I was tempted to call out, “Only in a democracy!”)

  10. Patricia Lowry

    April 10, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    It takes awareness to create change. During the last six months thousands of people across the state have opened their eyes to the war on wildlife that has taken place in the past and continues with renewed vigor to this day. The extremist hunting and trapping groups, as well as the National Rifle Association, have been put on notice This is our state, our public lands, and our wildlife, and we won’t remain silent any longer. Thanks go out to Melissa and to everyone who attended and voted at the Conservation Congress hearing on Monday. This is just the beginning.

  11. Sandra McGee

    April 10, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    Congrats to Melissa, now we have someone in there who will be ethical & honest. Good foe wildlife too.

  12. laina

    April 10, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Does anyone agree that the no vote for dogs on wolves means that hunters also voted no?

    • diane

      April 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Yes, I think hunters also voted no for dogs on wolves, but I don’t think it was because they finally saw the light. At the Conservation Congress meeting I attended the only question that created debate was question 73: Do you favor removing WI requirement of wearing a back tag during the archery & gun deer & bear hunting seasons? 1 person stood up & said he believed no back tags should be required-1 stood up & said back tags should be required for everything including trapping & small game. There was a lot of concern about trespassing….I think dogs chasing wolves create a potential trespass problem. Most at the meeting I attended believe back tags allow trespassers to be caught & identified by trail camera.


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