Wisconsin Farm Bureau President Jim Holte issued the following statement regarding the amendments to the Endangered Species Act.
“We appreciate the efforts by Chairman Barrasso of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to include additional input from state and local stakeholders throughout the Endangered Species Act. There is a legitimate need for states to have more input for wildlife management while still maintaining some level of federal oversight.
For years, Wisconsin has had a serious gray wolf situation. Under the umbrella of the Endangered Species Act, the gray wolf’s federal status has undergone extensive changes during the last 15 years. This is not due to the biological or scientific evidence that population numbers for the species have met and exceeded their recovery goals, but flaws in the Act that make these decisions prone to politics and legal battles based on procedural technicalities.
Wisconsin farmers have their hands tied when it comes to defending their livestock and livelihoods. It is illegal for farmers in the Western Great Lakes region to protect their livestock from depredating wolves and there is no mechanism to manage the population.
The ESA should include a focus on species recovery and habitat conservation objectives that respects landowners. Therefore, Wisconsin Farm Bureau supports the 2018 amendments to the Endangered Species Act.”