The Wisconsin DNR under high school graduate, turned real estate developer, turned agency secretary , Cathy Stepp, has made it very clear in the past that she and her anti-wildlife agency care nothing for the views and heritage of the Wisconsin tribes. Federal court rulings have always affirmed that the Wisconsin tribes are to be allotted 50 percent of quotas for any species in the Ceded Territories.
Treaty rights are rights retained in treaties negotiated between sovereigns. In the case of the Ojibwe in northern Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, their headmen retained or kept the rights to hunt, fish and gather on lands they ceded to the U.S. government. These retained rights are called usufructuary rights, which means the right to use property. An example would be if a property owner sold land but retained mineral rights, or the right to access minerals beneath the surface. Another example would be retaining frailing rights in Oklahoma, where land is sometimes sold but the right to frail pecans on the land is retained by the first owner. Treaty rights are not some unique or “special” right that courts have granted certain tribes; rather they are legal usufructuary rights retained by tribes at the time the treaties were signed. Treaty rights are also tribal, not individual rights. They are held and regulated by the treaty signatory tribes.
Last year during the planning for the inaugural Wisconsin wolf slaughter the DNR set a kill quota of 201 wolves. They tribes laid claim to all living wolves in the Ceded Territory. The DNR allotted 85 of the quota to the tribes. This meant that the great white hunter of Wisconsin were allowed to kill 116 wolves. In the end they killed 117 “legally.” This year when the DNR announced their even more reckless kill plan of 275 wolves, the tribes made the same allocation for all living wolves in the ceded areas. This time the DNR decided that because the Chippewa killed no wolves last year, because of their sacred bonds with the animals, the DNR will only allocate 24 wolves out the 275. This means that the great white hunters of Wisconsin will be allowed to “legally” kill 251 wolves out of a population estimated to be around 800. That is almost one-third of the wolves in the states at last count. In fact the DNR goes so far as to claim that this is a “cautious approach.” This year the wolf slaughter will include the use of dogs against wolves. Cautious indeed.
“We are entering the second season cautiously,” said Dave MacFarland of the DNR in a news release. “We will continue to learn valuable information for updating the state’s wolf management plan and adopting permanent wolf hunting rules.”
The Chippewa Tribal declaration was similar to last year, they claimed all living wolves within the ceded territory. For other quota limited species (bear, bobcat etc.) the DNR uses a combination of the declaration and prior harvest performance to make adjustments to the state quota. Last year there was no prior data on their likely harvest therefore 50% of the quota within the ceded territory was allocated for their harvest. This year there is data on prior harvest which was incorporated into the quota adjustment. Based on their communications with the state, the fact that they did not harvest any wolves last year, and the fact that they have not promulgated rules for tribal harvest and issuance of tags the DNR does not believe it is likely they will harvest 50% of the quota in 2013. A decision was made to allocate 10% of the allowable quota within the ceded territory in the event they should choose to harvest.
So in other words this is a big F-you to the tribes and apparently Wisconsin only cares about killing and pleasing the great white hunters. One of the other arguments used by the DNR and their killing cartel puppet masters is how hunting, trapping, and hounding are “heritage” and “traditions” that us “antis” are trying to take away. Notice how they never talk about how THEY took away thousands of years of heritage and the traditions from the Native peoples of this country and forced them to adopt the “white man’s” culture. Apparently heritage and tradition only matter when it comes to the great white hunter.
Shame on you Wisconsin and shame on the DNR!