Rep. Kind Applauds Gray Wolf Delisting
December 29, 2011
In The News
Wisconsin Ag Connection
A Wisconsin congressman says last week's announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act list is welcome news. Rep. Ron Kind says he has worked for years to support the removal of the gray wolf from protective status--even going so far as to urge Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to move on the issue.
"This is great news for Wisconsin and for the gray wolf," Kind said. "In the last 30 years, the population of gray wolves has risen dramatically, a great success story for endangered species management. But with no known predator, their numbers have risen to an unstable point and will only continue to rise. It's time to allow states to manage the wolf population to maintain balance in nature and ensure the protection of other species and our farmers."
The La Crosse Democrat is a former member of the House Natural Resources Committee. He says estimates indicated that there were only 25 wolves in Wisconsin in 1980. But now that number is over 800.
"Wisconsin's efforts to restore the population have been extremely successful, to the point that gray wolves are so robust they routinely attack cattle, pets, and deer," Kind said. "In order to restore a natural balance, the Wisconsin DNR should be allowed to implement their management plan."
Within hours of the USFWS's decision to remove the wolf from protective status, Governor Scott Walker ordered the Department of Natural Resources to begin implementing Wisconsin's Wolf Management plan.
But State DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp says that move is only the first step in the process. She notes that once wolves are delisted, the DNR will be able to do depredation controls, via trapping and permits to landowners in depredation areas.