Story By Morgan Johnson
RHINELANDER – Earlier this month, Representative Tom Tiffany introduced legislation that would permanently remove the grey wolf from the list of federal endangered species.
“It’s important to the people of Northern and Western Wisconsin,” said Tiffany.
The “Managing Predators Act” would give state lawmakers and wildlife officials control over management of wolves.
“I trust the wildlife managers at the DNR,” said Tiffany. “They’ll make sure they manage the population appropriately.”
However a wildlife expert from Wisconsin’s Green Fire thinks Tiffany’s bill is unnecessary. Adrian Wydeven said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was on the verge of delisting wolves.
“Wolves have recovered so many of us do feel their populations have recovered and can be managed by the state,” said Wydeven.
Representative Tiffany thinks congressional action is more certain to deliver results. He says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s process could be stopped in the courts.
“We have very deep-pocketed groups that fight the wolf delisting every time that happens,” said Tiffany. “They’re going to do the same when the Fish and Wildlife service does the right thing.”
Wydeven does agree that a change should be made to the endangered species list…he just trusts a move by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service more.
“Species should certainly be delisted when their populations have been recovered,” he said.
On the other hand, Tiffany trusts state DNR officials to maintain wolf populations.
“I trust our wildlife managers in the Department of Natural Resources to make the right decision,” said Tiffany. “They’re not going to allow the wolf to become endangered again.”
Delisting the wolf could also be a solution.
“Occasionally pets do get killed by wolves. We have to be able to warn people where there are problem packs and be able to control problem wolves getting close to homes where they are attacking livestock and pets,” said Wydeven.
The bill is unlikely to pass the democrat-controlled house of representatives.