Members of Wisconsin’s farm community expressed strong support for managing the number of gray wolves at the Great Lakes Wolf Summit held in Cumberland, September 15.
Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation President Jim Holte was among those to testify at the summit. He said the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation continues to support a decision made in 2011 by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to delist the gray wolf in the Western Great Lakes region and allow the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to implement its Wolf Management Plan.
“The latest population estimates of gray wolves in Wisconsin is the highest on record at almost 900 animals and far exceeds the targeted management goal of 350 wolves specified in the Wisconsin DNR’s Wolf Management Plan,” Holte said.
“Since implementation of the first gray wolf hunting and trapping season in Wisconsin in 2012, the DNR’s management plan has been conservative, science-based and designed to maintain the prescribed wolf population while managing to minimize conflicts with Wisconsin farmers and others,” Holte added.
Ryan Klussendorf, a fourth generation dairy farmer from Medford testified about calves being tormented by wolves that resulted in a citation for animals being at large. He also told of gruesome wolf depredation of a cow that took place on his farm six years ago.
“This single attack still impacts every decision we make for our cattle and our farm management practices continually revolve around it,” he said.
“Right now I cannot protect my cows and my family’s livelihood without the risk of being prosecuted. Help Wisconsin farmers by removing the grey wolf from the endangered species list and get back to a state-run management plan that accomplishes a population goal of 350 or less,” he said.
“I don’t think a federal judge, and most others who do not farm and care for livestock, can truly understand and appreciate the emotional toll and financial burden that wolf depredation can have on a farmer, their family, and their small business,” Klussendorf said.
Klussendorf farms with his wife, Cheri, who serves as the president of the Taylor County Farm Bureau.
Holte also expressed support for two pieces of federal legislation from Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson and Congressman Reid Ribble that would delist the gray wolf and would not be subject to judicial review.
Leave a Reply