State Sen. Tom Tiffany hosts Great Lakes Wolf SummitSubmitted: 09/16/2016
Anthony DaBruzzi
Anthony DaBruzzi

State Sen. Tom Tiffany hosts Great Lakes Wolf Summit
CUMBERLAND - State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) wants Wisconsin to get back the power to regulate wolves.

Those in favor of bringing back wolf hunting and trapping met at the Great Lakes Wolf Summit in Cumberland on Thursday.

The meeting was organized by Tiffany and state Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake).

Testimony came from farmers, wildlife experts, and citizens concerned about the region's wolf population.

Great Lakes wolves were taken off the endangered species list in 2012.That move gave the DNR the power to manage the wolf population until a federal judge put wolves back on the list in 2014.

Tiffany says the state has already proven it can responsibly control its wolves.

"We had about three seasons where we hunted wolves successfully, and those numbers never dropped below 350," Tiffany said. "There was no mismanagement by the state, and so I think that people can have confidence because we've already done it."

Since the ruling in 2014, the state hasn't been able to kill wolves that attack livestock or pets. Wildlife experts say the non-lethal options left for controlling wolves don't always work well.

"We're running into lots of situations where wolves have habituated to non-lethal techniques, and we're not effectively or efficiently resolving these conflicts," said USDA wildlife biologist David Ruid.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel is currently appealing the ruling that put wolves back on the endangered list. Sen. Ron Johnson also introduced a bill that would get wolves delisted as endangered species.

Tiffany hopes the nearly 175 people who attended Thursday's summit will reach out to their congressional representatives and push them to take action. A vote on Johnson's bill could happen before the end of the year.

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