Poynette -- At its April 9, 2011, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation announced that it had garnered 36,739 signatures from Wisconsin citizens asking the Secretary of Interior to remove the wolf from the Federal Endangered Species list. The petition was delivered to the Department of Interior and the Wisconsin Congressional delegation on March 30 and 31, 2011 by WWF President Jack Nissen and Wildlife Committee Chair Ralph Fritsch.
The signatures were gathered between September and December 2010.
The Department of the Interior is currently reviewing petitions filed by the States of Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups to remove the wolf from the Endangered Species list. The current wolf population in Wisconsin is several times higher than the stated wolf population goal of 350 wolves. There has been a substantial increase in the death and injury of livestock, hunting dogs and pets from wolf depredation. In addition the Department of Natural Resources has killed 15 wolves in Jackson and Price counties due to concerns over human endangerment by wolves.
In addition, the Annual Meeting of the Wildlife Federation voted unanimously to support Federal Legislation removing the wolf from the Federal Endangered Species list if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not remove the wolf from the list in its current review or if the USFWS does delist the wolf and a lawsuit is filed challenging the Fish and Wildlife Service decision.
“The Federation strongly supports the Federal Endangered Species law, but the law has been abused by those challenging the delisting of the wolf in the Federal Courts,” stated Chuck Matsyka, (Cecil), incoming WWF President and WWF Endangered Species Committee chair. “Wolves in Wisconsin have clearly and substantially exceeded their population goal and it is now time to turn wolf management over to the state.”
The WWF consists of 160 hunting, fishing, trapping and forestry-related groups and is dedicated to conservation education and the advancement of sound conservation policies.