Administrators from the natural resource agencies in 13 midwestern states and three Canadian provinces have signed a joint resolution urging the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list.
"Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan all have achieved the primary goal of the Endangered Species Act, and that is sustainable wolf populations," said Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank. "It's clear in our mind that now is the time to turn over management of the wolf to the respective state natural resource management agencies."
The resolution was inked at a recent board of directors meeting of the Midwest Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. The association represents Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kentucky, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan. All states and provinces signed the resolution, including those with no known gray wolf populations at this time.
With the growth of the wolf population in Wisconsin and Michigan, there have been some problems with wolves killing livestock, pets and hunting dogs. Although owners of livestock and hunting dogs have been compensated for their losses, transferring management of wolves to state natural resource agencies will allow better control of the population and greater protections for livestock and pet owners.
In April 2010, Wisconsin submitted a state petition to the DOI requesting the wolf be removed from the endangered species list in Wisconsin. Wisconsin's petition joined a similar action by Minnesota filed in March 2010. Wisconsin's estimated wolf population at the end of the 2009-2010 winter was more than 700.
Reprinted from Wisconsin Ag Connection