Wisconsin officials add recommendations to new management plan to keep wolf population around 1,000

Aug 1, 2023, 9:44 AM

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin wildlife officials released a revised draft wolf management plan Tuesday that recommends holding the statewide population at around 1,000 animals, a concession to conservatives looking for a hard limit.

The Department of Natural Resources adopted a wolf management plan in 1999 that calls for capping the statewide population at 350 wolves. The population has roughly tripled since then, leading to occasional wolf attacks on pets, hunting dogs and livestock. Hunters and farmers have pointed to the 350-animal limit as justification for generous kill quotas, angering animal rights advocates.

The department released a draft of a new wolf management plan in November. The proposal didn’t include a hard population goal, instead recommending that advisory committees monitor local wolf populations and decide whether to reduce them, maintain them or allow them to grow.

The draft wasn’t well received by hunters, farmers and GOP legislators. State Rep. Chanz Green and state Sen. Rob Stafsholt introduced a bill in March that would require the DNR to set a statewide population goal in its new plan. The measure has yet to get a hearing.

The plan the DNR unveiled Tuesday still doesn’t set a hard population goal. But it does include a chart laying out recommendations on when to reduce the statewide population, when it would be considered stable and when to let it grow.

If the number of wolves falls below 799, wildlife officials should look to grow the statewide population, according to the plan. If the population stands at 800 to 999 wolves, the population could grow or be considered stable. If the population stands at between 1,000 and 1,199 wolves, the population would be considered stable or could be reduced. If the number of animals grows to 1,200 or more, the population should be reduced.

“This approach is expected to generally maintain statewide wolf abundance and distribution at levels comparable to recent years,” Larry Johnson, a DNR large carnivore specialist who wrote the plan, said during a news conference. “The better question is can we make good decisions on the information we have? I think we’re in a good place here.”

The new draft retains provisions from the original that call for reducing the window for registering wolf kills from 24 hours to eight hours and issuing hunting licenses for specific wolf management zones. Right now wolf licenses are valid in any of the state’s six zones.

The DNR’s policy board is expected to vote in October on whether to adopt the management plan.

Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in 2012 establishing an annual fall wolf hunt in the state. The hunt became one of the most contentious outdoor issues the state has ever faced. Ranchers and farmers say they need to protect their livestock from wolf attacks; the DNR has paid out about $3.2 million in compensation for wolf attacks since 1985. Animal rights advocates counter that the wolf population isn’t strong enough to support hunting.

A federal judge in February 2022 restored endangered species protections for gray wolves across most of the country, including Wisconsin. The move outlawed hunting the animal. Wisconsin did not hold a wolf season last fall.

United States News

A fire burns at the Warren Grove Air To Ground Range, Tuesday, July 16, 2024. in Bass River Townshi...

Associated Press

Forest fire at New Jersey military base 80% contained after overnight rain

BASS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — Heavy rain overnight helped firefighters gain more control over a forest fire burning at a military bombing range in southern New Jersey. Fire officials said Wednesday that half an inch (1.3 centimeters) of rain fell overnight at the Warren Grove Air to Ground Range, a training facility for the New […]

16 minutes ago

FILE - Former Trump White House advisor Peter Navarro speaks to the media as he leaves federal cour...

Associated Press

Ex-Trump adviser Peter Navarro is released from prison and is headed to Milwaukee to address the RNC

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Former Trump White House official Peter Navarro was released from prison on Wednesday after completing his sentence for a contempt of Congress conviction and is expected to speak hours later at the Republican National Convention. Navarro, who served as a White House trade adviser under President Donald Trump, was freed from custody […]

28 minutes ago

Associated Press

A Texas school that was built to segregate Mexican American students becomes a national park

A west Texas school built in 1909 for Mexican and Mexican American students as part of “separate but equal” education segregation was designated Wednesday as a national park. U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland formally established the Blackwell School National Historic Site in Marfa, Texas, as the nation’s newest national park and the seventh […]

39 minutes ago

President Joe Biden speaks at a 2024 Prosperity Summit Tuesday, July 16, 2024, in North Las Vegas, ...

Associated Press

Nearly two-thirds of Democrats want Biden to withdraw, new AP-NORC poll finds

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nearly two-thirds of Democrats say President Joe Biden should withdraw from the presidential race and let his party nominate a different candidate, according to a new poll, sharply undercutting his post-debate claim that “average Democrats” are still with him even if some “big names” are turning on him. The new survey by […]

42 minutes ago

An historical marker near the spot where George Washington “narrowly escaped death” years befor...

Associated Press

‘Of all the places’: Deep red Butler, Pennsylvania, grapples with Trump assassination attempt

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — On the streets of Butler, Pennsylvania, in the wake of Saturday’s assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, the same four words have been spoken again and again: “Of all the places.” Butler, home to some 13,000 people, and the county whose grand courthouse graces its square are named for a […]

2 hours ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Sanderson Ford

3 storylines to get you revved up for the 2024 Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals training camp is just a couple weeks away starting on July 25, and Sanderson Ford is revved up and ready to go.

Sponsored Articles


Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Wisconsin officials add recommendations to new management plan to keep wolf population around 1,000