A pair of state lawmakers hope to bring a number of stakeholders concerned about the growth of the gray wolf population in the Midwest together later this fall.
State Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and Rep. Adam Jarchow (R-Balsam Lake) are organizing the Great Lakes Wolf Summit, which has been scheduled for September 15 at the Das Lach House in Cumberland. Tiffany says they plan to have “legislators from Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin there and we want to talk about the growth and population of wolves and the impact on people. Especially people in northern Wisconsin and our neighboring states.”
Tiffany says the goal is to move Congress to give population control back to the states. “What this is is a grass-roots effort to deliver the message to Congressional representatives that this is the time to change this,” said Senator Tiffany.
Due to a Federal court decision, wolves in the western Great Lakes area were relisted under the Endangered Species Act in December, 2014. Prior to that time, states were given the authority to regulate wolf populations, which prompted Wisconsin to offer a limited hunting season for the animals.
Tiffany has been a proponent for a wolf hunt and deadly control methods, arguing that an uncontrolled population will negatively impact the ecosystem and cause risk to lives of humans and livestock. Conservation groups say the wolf population in the region is beginning to return to levels they once enjoyed. Wisconsin’s Native American tribes also protested Wisconsin’s wolf hunts during the time the wolf was delisted, saying the animal is sacred to them.
A population study from the DNR has recorded the largest population of wolves in the state’s recorded history.
Registration for the summit will begin on July 20.
Contributed by WSAU and WXPR