MADISON –DNR Secretary Matt Frank made the following statement on the announcement by the Department of the Interior - US Fish and Wildlife Service that the service is moving ahead with efforts to remove the gray wolf from the federal endangered species list in the Great Lakes states of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota.
“We are pleased the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is moving forward to delist the grey wolf. Scientific evidence supports delisting. Transferring management of the wolf to Wisconsin is timely and will lead to improved management through effective action on problem wolves. We have worked closely with the Department of the Interior on wolf delisting over the past two years and applaud Interior’s proposed action to delist the gray wolf.
“The DNR has a federally approved wolf management plan ready to be implemented when delisting occurs. With the growth of the wolf population in Wisconsin, problems with wolves killing valuable livestock and hunting dogs have grown to intolerable levels, Frank said.
“We are ready to carry out our federally approved state wolf management plan to both protect the long-term viability of the wolf and provide relief for farmers and pet owners,” said Frank.
In April, Wisconsin filed a petition with Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar seeking delisting of the wolf in Wisconsin so the state could take over management of this large predator.
The wolf was considered extirpated from Wisconsin by 1960 due to bounties that lasted until 1957.
Wisconsin’s current wolf population descends from Minnesota as wolves, seeking new territories, moved into unoccupied habitat in Wisconsin. The wolf population recovered on its own due to protection, habitat management and education. As a result of the federal endangered status, the current population estimate of wolves in Wisconsin is nearly twice the level prescribed by the Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan.
News Release Published: December 13, 2010 by the Central Office
Contact(s): Adrian Wydeven (715) 762-1363; Robert Manwell (608) 264-9248
DATE: December 13, 2010 CONTACT: Adrian Wydeven (715) 762-1363; Robert Manwell (608) 264-9248
Source: Wisconsin DNR