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WI: Sen. Baldwin: Washington Should Act on State’s Wolf Problem

Wisconsin Ag Connection

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin says she has no problem supporting legislation that would delist gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act. In an editorial released this weekend, the Wisconsin Democrat noted that she has heard the voices of Wisconsinites who have real concerns about the increasing threat of the state’s growing wolf population.

“Farmers have found livestock injured and killed by wolves that are straying closer to their herds than in previous years. Families have lost pets. Parents have decided it’s no longer safe to let their kids play where they normally do,” Baldwin wrote. “These concerns, and the expertise of wildlife science, tell us we should take on the gray wolf problem in our state by acting again to delist the wolf from the Endangered Species List and pass management of the wolf back to the State of Wisconsin.”

She also acknowledged that sportsmen and wildlife enthusiasts are seeing a reduction in the number of deer, elk, and other wildlife because of wolves. However, she did point out that delisting the wolf should not mean removing it from the landscape all together.

“Many Wisconsinites have deeply felt beliefs about how the wolf population should be managed, and the health of the wolf population is of unique significance to Native American Tribes,” she said. “I believe those debates deserve thoughtful and careful consideration by state and tribal wildlife experts, following a federal delisting.”

Last week, State Sen. Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and Rep. Adam Jarchow from Balsam Lake called on Baldwin to lead the effort with her Democrat counterparts in Washington to delist the wolves after Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Reid Ribble introduced a bill earlier this year to remove those protections in Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Wildlife experts say Wisconsin’s wolf population has reached about 900 animals.