Today the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced that they are removing wolves from the Endangered Species Act protection in Wisconsin.
Upon the announcement, Governor Walker ordered the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to begin implementing the state’s wolf management plan. The Governor also thanked the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation and DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp for their work in moving this issue forward and promoting the decision being made based on sound science.
“I firmly support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s decision to delist the wolf in the upper Great Lakes states. Wisconsin has exceeded its delisting goal eight times over and must have flexibility to manage wolf problems,” said Governor Walker. “I have ordered the DNR to begin issuing permits for landowners who are experiencing losses caused by wolves starting on February 1. We will be prepared when the delisting takes effect at the end of January.”
Wisconsin has approximately 800 wolves, the most wolves ever counted in the state. This far exceeds both the Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan goal of 350 and the federal recovery goal of 100 wolves for Michigan and Wisconsin.
Governor Walker also complimented the U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials for their finding that the population of wolves in the Western Great Lakes is a single species. “Wolves in Wisconsin act and behave as a single population and must be managed as a single population,” said Gov. Walker.
Under the DNR’s Wolf Management Plan, the state will be able to address problem wolves that are causing depredations on farms and attacking pets near residential areas.
Once the delisting takes effect the DNR will begin issuing permits to landowners to control wolves on their property where there have been documented cases of depredation or harassment by wolves. This will also allow permitted landowners or their designees to shoot wolves on their property if needed to protect domestic animals.
“Wisconsin is ready and able to manage its wolf population,” Walker said.