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MADISON — Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp is defending a plan to cut wolf hunt permit fees to the Legislature's budget committee.

Republican Gov. Scott Walker's executive budget would cut wolf permit fees from $100 to $47 for state residents and from $500 to $249. Rep. John Nygren, one of the budget committee's two co-chairs, asked Stepp to justify that cut during a hearing Tuesday. Stepp replied that Walker doesn't want to create any obstacles to hunting wolves and the reduction brings a wolf permit more in line with $49 bear hunting permits.

Nygren, a Marinette Republican, chastised Stepp, saying the Legislature set the license fees in the bill establishing the wolf hunt. He says lawmakers like to know they've been heard.

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