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.
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.
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.