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Rep.Duffy proposes bill to delist wolves as endangered speciesSubmitted: 10/18/2018
Story By Nina Schlosberg

Rep.Duffy proposes bill to delist wolves as endangered species
NORTHWOODS - Another winter approaches without a wolf hunt in Wisconsin. 

Last month Congressman Sean Duffy proposed removing wolves from the federal endangered species list. That legislation got support from both parties. 

Duffy grew up in northern Wisconsin. He wants to give the management of endangered species to the states instead of the federal government.


Brad Koele, a wildlife damage specialist with the DNR, knows all about the situations people encounter when it comes to wildlife. One situation he often comes across is wolves attacking livestock. 

"We have had a couple of livestock producers this year that have had three or four depredations on their farms," Koele said. 

Koele says that can be a tough loss to take. 

"With the farming economy and the way it is today, those are substantial losses," Koele said. 

For the past four years, wolves have been on the endangered species list. 

"Originally the wolf population was low enough where they needed protections under the Endangered Species Act," Koele said. 

According to the DNR, between 900 and 950 wolves roamed the state this past year. They take that number as evidence of a stabilizing population. 

Duffy proposed a bill this September to delist wolves. He believes the laws regarding wildlife should change as the environment changes.

"It's always important to evaluate it and make sure that you can successfully manage a now-successful population of wolves," Duffy said.

Delisting will allow the DNR to use both lethal and non-lethal methods to control wolves if necessary. The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources voted to move forward with the bill.

"I have been in touch with Speaker Paul Ryan and leader Keven McCarthy and their team to tell them how important this is to get this up on the House floor," Duffy said.

Duffy hopes to get this bill through the house by the end of next year. As of right now, wolves are protected in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. 

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"I was surprised," said Jodie Stamper. 

Montgomery and Stamper have been a part of Forest County Ties that Bind Us from the beginning. 

"I never thought that it would get this big when we first started it," said Montgomery. "I thought it would be a little organization but little Crandon and Forest County really took off with the whole thing." 

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