Legislation would delist the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan and create advisory committee comprised of impacted stakeholders to create final rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Northern Great Lakes Wolf Recovery Act, new legislation to develop a regional-specific plan based in science to delist the gray wolf population in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The legislation would create an advisory committee comprised of members representing agriculture, Native and Tribal communities, heads of impacted-state agencies, and wolf management experts and scientists to create the final delisting rule for the region.
“I have long supported commonsense efforts to delist the gray wolf in Wisconsin because the science shows that the population has recovered in the Great Lakes region. While other parts of the country have different wolf populations and management needs, this legislation will allow our agriculture, Tribal, scientific, and impacted communities to come together to create a solution that works for Wisconsin,” said Senator Baldwin. “The Northern Great Lakes Wolf Recovery Act is a deliberate approach that follows the science and gives impacted communities a seat at the table as we work together to be responsible stewards of Wisconsin’s gray wolf population.”
The region the legislation outlines includes Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, where the wolf population has been determined to have rebounded to the point where state management is appropriate.
The advisory committee would also be involved in the five-year post-delisting monitoring period, which ensures that the status of the species does not decline or, if an increase in threats or decline in the population do occur, there are plans and measures in place to halt the decline so that relisting is not necessary.
The Northern Great Lakes Wolf Recovery Act would require the following:
The Northern Great Lakes Wolf Recovery Act is supported by the Wisconsin Farmers Union, Wisconsin Soybean Growers, Wisconsin Soybean Growers, Whitetails of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Game Preserve Association, Wisconsin Cattleman’s Association, and Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.
"Wolf populations are no longer endangered, and in fact exceed the national delisting criteria in the Midwest. All these wolves represent a vibrant and dramatic tribute to the success of the Endangered Species Act. Wisconsin Farmers Union supports the delisting of wolves as an endangered species and supports return to state control of wolf management," said Michelle Ramirez-White, Policy Coordinator at the Wisconsin Farmers Union.
“As with any regulation of wild animal species, proper management not only ensures the proliferation of healthy populations of that species but assists in the appropriate balance of other species that share Wisconsin's waters and woods with them. The wolf population in the Northern Great Lake region additionally affects livestock and deprivation by wolves is a daily issue that many farmers in the state of Wisconsin deal with,” said Tim Zindl, President of the Wisconsin Game Preserve Association. “The delisting of Wolves is long overdue and will be a monumental step in the proper management of the resources we so cherish.”
“Wisconsin Corn Growers support reforms to the Endangered Species Act which would result in the responsible management of our state's grey wolf population,” said Mark Hoffmann, President of Wisconsin Corn Growers Association. “We support Senator Baldwin’s approach to wolf management that will work for Wisconsin’s agricultural community because the livestock damages related to the wolf population affect our industry outputs.”
"The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation supports legislation de-listing gray wolf populations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula," said Kevyn Quamme, President of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. "WWF welcomes Senator Tammy Baldwin’s legislation to require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director to update the Monitoring Plan under the Endangered Species Act."