Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 7:00 am
U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy introduced legislation Tuesday that would return authority to states for determining the protected status of gray wolves.
The Wausau Republican’s plan would let states manage Western Great Lakes and Wyoming gray wolf populations within their boundaries after two U.S. District Court rulings in 2014 put the animals under the protection of the federal
In Wisconsin, we cherish our wildlife and work diligently to conserve our natural resources, but the Endangered Species Act has allowed courts to misuse judicial oversight to stop science-based wildlife management from moving forward to delist the gray wolf,” Duffy said in a statement.
Two state lawmakers from Northern Wisconsin expressed support Tuesday.
A joint statement from state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and state Rep. Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, said, “The overpopulation of gray wolves on Wisconsin’s landscape is harming farmers, hunters and residents of rural Wisconsin.”
Last August, the state Department of Natural Resources said a record number of hunting dogs had already been killed by wolves for the year. As of the close of Wisconsin’s bear season in October, at least 40 hunting dogs were confirmed killed by wolves, far exceeding the previous record of 23.
Opponents have argued removing the species from the federal list benefits a handful of people who want to hunt the animal and say a strong wolf population helps the state’s ecosystem as a whole.
Gov. Scott Walker has asked President-elect Donald Trump to help on several issues after he is inaugurated, including the legalization of gray wolf hunting in Wisconsin.