The day that wildlife advocates have dreaded and bloodthirsty sadists yearned for is upon us. This is the first day of Wisconsin’s annual wolf slaughter season. There is a big difference between this year and last year though. The mainstream media is finally paying attention to the reckless plan authored by the killing cartel controlled “Wolf Advisory Committee” and the pay to play Wisconsin DNR under former real estate developer turned agency secretary Cathy Stepp. In the past week alone some outstanding journalism from the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has shone a light in the corrupt and barbaric practices that the DNR labels as “science,” “management,” and “tradition. The Center also asks the question about why some in this state are so obsessed with using dogs as four-legged weapons against wildlife and why this is considered “ethical” by the DNR. The most important piece from the Center is a long investigative article showcasing the corrupt and pandering antics of the Wisconsin DNR and their sham committees. The article is here:
In the article DNR talking head Sgt. Schultz….errr…..Bill Vander Zouwen makes the ridiculous statement that the DNR has no clue what killing cartel groups are applying “political pressure.” Right……
The wolf committee is one of 16 wildlife advisory committees that were revamped this spring to exclude university researchers and reduce DNR staff — a move that internal DNR records show was controversial among some of the agency’s scientists.
The committees now have more representation by interest groups, including sportsmen.
The wolf committee is drafting a long-term plan for managing the animals due in June to the Natural Resources Board, which sets policy for the DNR.
Committee facilitator Bill Vander Zouwen, the DNR’s ecology section chief, said agency administrators are feeling pressure from outside groups not to raise the goal from 350, set in a state wolf management plan from 1999 when wolves were recovering from threatened status.
“Whoever worked with the legislators on the bill — it’s clear the legislators wanted (the wolf population) brought down,” he said. “If we start talking about higher goals, it will make people nervous because of the political pressure out there.”
Vander Zouwen said he didn’t know who was applying this pressure: “Nobody has really told me who those influential parties are.”
Seriously? Let me give you a hint. They wrote the damn bill and sit on your sham committee, Vander Zouwen. Then there is this asinine statement from the the head of the state trapper killing cartel and committee member:
Committee member Maynard Breunig, representing the Wisconsin Trappers’ Association, was also adamant about not going above 350.
“I’ll change my mind when I’m six feet under. That’s about the only time I’ll change my mind,” he said. “What is the goal of all of this? Everybody knows what the people want.”
What people? The bear hounders? The trapper sadists? Funny that these bloodthirsty sadists speak for a tiny minority of Wisconsin citizens yet they know “what the people want.”
And of course here is the political control of the DNR wolf “management” spelled out in clear terms:
The state’s 2012 wolf hunt, the first in half a century, was approved with support from several state sportsmen groups, including the Safari Club International Wisconsin Chapter, the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and the Wisconsin Bowhunters Association, all of which are now represented on the Wolf Advisory Committee.
Officers and board members of the seven groups that spent time lobbying for the wolf hunt have donated at least $15,500 to Republican campaigns since mid-2008, an analysis shows. Recipients include Walker and former state Rep. Scott Gunderson, now DNR executive assistant. They also gave at least $4,300 to Democratic campaigns.
The rechartering of the DNR’s 16 wildlife committees has raised concerns among some DNR panel members, according to emails and a report obtained under an open records request by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
Vander Zouwen??? Are you paying attention about who is exerting the “political pressure?” You put them on your sham committee.
And not to be outdone Cathy Stepp decided to respond to the Center’s article in a
propaganda press release claiming that managing wolves is “as much art as it is science?” Sit down before you read this obsecene and insulting garbage:
If wildlife management was simply about doing research and then implementing what a study suggests, our wildlife managers would have a pretty straight forward and relatively easy job. However, wildlife management in Wisconsin and across the country is as much an art as it is a science. To ignore public sentiment and turn a blind eye to what society will accept will result in the failure of any policy, no matter how sound it may be from a scientist’s point of view. That is why for over 76 years, the DNR has balanced social, biological, and economic science in its decision making.
In review of the article, there are a number of important facts that were omitted.
First, several scientists, including Dr. Timothy Van Deelen and his research associate Jennifer Stenglen, have presented to the department’s wolf committee on multiple occasions. The article suggests that because Dr. Van Deelen isn’t a member of the committee that his inputs are not considered. To the contrary, their model has been utilized for two consecutive years to help model and project how the state’s wolf population will respond to harvest.
Secondly, the article asserts a false premise that only hunters, trappers and ranchers want fewer wolves. What is not mentioned are the votes by 18 Wisconsin County Boards that have passed advisory resolutions on wolf management, with 14 voting for 350 or less wolves and 4 voting for a goal of 350 wolves. Those counties include: Ashland, Burnett, Clark, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Jackson, Langlade, Lincoln, Marinette, Oconto, Oneida, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Vilas. This is a taste of the social side of wolf management. The DNR strives to balance many of the social aspects of wolf management with the need, and the department’s responsibility, to manage the state’s wolf population.
Classic Laurie Groskopf/bear hounder propaganda. So Stepp, who populates these boards? You fail to mention that the vast majority are indeed hunters, trappers, hounders, and ranchers. So no it is not a “false premise.” Guess what Stepp? Wisconsin is a state of 5.6 MILLION people. How about paying attention to that “social side of management” not just bear hounders, hunters, trappers, and ranchers. And then the propaganda continues:
At a recent DNR wolf committee meeting, social dimension work from UW researcher Adrian Treves was presented to the committee. In subsequent meetings the committee decided that more in-depth and robust social dimensions work needed to be conducted to better inform the department’s update to the state’s wolf management plan. Again, no mention was made of this fact in the article.
Next, the assertion that we will get to our goal of 350 wolves in one year ignores the science. The UW’s own population model indicates this year’s harvest could result in a 13 percent reduction in the state’s wolf population.
Since the day the wolf hunt legislation went into effect, we have been clear that we will honor the established population goal, and we will manage the population responsibly. Last year, as we predicted, our conservative harvest resulted in basically holding the wolf population steady. The minimum population count was estimated to be 815 in 2012, after the harvest it was estimated to be 809, a decline of less than 1 percent.
Also, at the beginning of the 2014 wolf hunting and trapping season, the population is well above 809 animals. The state’s wolf population basically doubles each spring when young are born. The number the department reports as a baseline is the population at its lowest point each year, just prior to pups being born. That is the origin of 809 and needs to be reported in context.
Finally, I want to take this time to thank our experts, the 12 DNR scientists and wildlife professionals that sit at the table with our conservation and Federal partners developing recommendations at our wolf committee meetings. The article focuses on only a few committee members but fails to mention the makeup of our 25 member committee which also includes representatives from the US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), US Department of Agriculture, Wisconsin County Forest Association and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission (GLIFWC). The article suggests that science is not represented, that only stakeholders are making decisions. This is simply not true and fails to tell the entire story.
Once recommendations are developed at the committee level, those recommendations are advanced to the department’s wildlife policy team, where seasoned managers and scientists with over 150 combined years of experience, weigh the science (both social and biological) and also the management implications. Ultimately they will make the recommendation to department administration and the Natural Resources Board (NRB). That is where biology, science and public sentiment are weighed and a final decision is made. This year the wolf committee recommended a quota of 275 wolves and the NRB approved that quota unanimously.
There are some tough decisions ahead. For instance, if we want to continue to harvest wolves, we will very likely have to decide on whether 350 wolves is the correct number. We do not disagree or ignore the fact that at lower populations we need to take great care in our management decisions. If we do reach 350 animals, it may mean that public harvest is extremely limited and we are only controlling problem wolves. These are the important questions that our citizens and committee will be tackling in the coming year. In the meantime, we will continue to responsibly manage our wolf population.
Our commitment to science remains strong. We will continue to monitor the biological data collected through surveys and harvest data as we move toward our goal, approved by and written by many of those quoted in the article as well as the USFWS. No other state puts the same amount of effort into tracking, monitoring and collecting data on the wolf population and harvest as Wisconsin does. There is much to be celebrated in our recovery and responsible management of the wolves in Wisconsin.
Keep the propaganda spin rolling Stepp and fellow DNR talking heads. This is the same killing cartel propaganda that ALL of the anti-wolf groups keep spreading. The Center has made very clear that they stand behind their story 100 percent and we concur:
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism stands by its report on the state Department of Natural Resources’ management of the wolf population. The report fairly and accurately draws upon the perspectives of advocates and critics of the DNR, through interviews and public records. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp’s response mischaracterizes portions of WCIJ’s report, which we invite the public to read in its entirety. We look forward to further examinations of these important issues in the future.
It is so refreshing to see a well respected investigative journalism organization like the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism call out the biased and politically motivated Wisconsin DNR for their corrupt and shady antics. The Center also published and article yesterday asking why Wisconsin is so obsessed with using dogs to kill wildlife:
Joe Bodewes, a Minocqua-based veterinarian, described the damage to dogs by bear in a recent letter to the Wisconsin State Journal.
“Broken and crushed legs, sliced-open abdomens and punctured lungs,” he wrote. “Dogs lying mangled and dying on the surgery table — all in the pursuit of sport.”
Bodewes, in an interview, says his small clinic treats about a dozen dogs a year mauled by bears while hunting. Usually two to four die. Recent cases include a dog whose jaw “was snapped off below the eyes” and one whose back muscles were “ripped loose from its spine.” Both survived.
Now Wisconsin is about to become the only state to let dogs be used in wolf hunts. A judge’s injunction blocking the use of dogs in last year’s inaugural hunt has been lifted; the case is now before a state appeals court. This year’s hunt, with a kill goal of 275 wolves, begins Tuesday. Dogs can be used beginning Dec. 2.
Keep up the pressure. You know that we will continue to expose the sadistic bloodsport antics of many so called “sportsmen” in Wisconsin and their enablers in the DNR.