August 30, 2006
Judge's ban on killing
problem wolves in Wisconsin, angering victims
August 29, 2006 by Robert Imrie, Associated
By Robert Imrie, Associated Press Writer
The Janesville Gazette
P.O. Box 5001
Janesville, Wisconsin 53547-5001
Wausau, Wisconsin - A federal judge's recent
ruling that barred wildlife officials from
killing problem wolves in Wisconsin has saved
the lives of at least five wolves preying on
livestock in northern Wisconsin, the state's
coordinator of the wolf management program said
Since the judge's decision August 9, wolves
killed sheep and calves on four farms in Douglas
and Bayfield counties, said Adrian Wydeven of
the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Until the ruling, wolves causing problems for
the farms would have been trapped and euthanized
with a permit issued by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The permit allowed for the
killing of 43 such wolves this year.
Up to 10 wolves might have been trapped and
killed by now, Wydeven said Tuesday in a
telephone interview from his office in Park
That practice was halted after
Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in
Washington, D.C. sided with animal lfare and
environmental groups, including the Humane
Society of the United States, in a
lawsuit that argued the killing violated the
federal Endangered Species Act.
"It has made things a lot more difficult for
us," Wydeven said. "A lot of farmers are
concerned and disappointed and fearful that wolf
attacks are not going to be slowed down."
Eighteen wolves were killed with the permit
before the judge issued her ruling, he said.
Eric Koens, a director of the Wisconsin
Cattlemen's Association and a critic of the
number of wolves in northern Wisconsin, hinted
people may be killing wolves illegally to save
"Landowners will attempt to resolve the problems
themselves; that's pretty much understood, at
least by those of us in the livestock business,"
Koens said. "People are going to have less
tolerance toward wolves if these problem
(wolves) are not controlled."
Wolves were wiped out in Wisconsin in the 1950s
after decadeso bounty hunting. Since the animal
was granted protection as an endangered species
in the 1970s, wolves migrated back from
Minnesota, and about 500 live mostly in northern
and central Wisconsin.
Earlier this year, the DNR announced that wolves
killed or injured livestock on 25 farms last
year - triple the number from four years ago -
diminishing public support for wolves in the
Last year, 29 problem wolves were killed under
the special permit.
Wydeven said Tuesday that the trapping of
problem wolves planned to resume with a new
strategy. A $300 shock collar will be put on the
wolves before they are released. When the wolf
comes within about 200 yards of a triggering
device in a pasture or field, a collar would
Other high tech solutions, such as
motion-activated scare devices that feature
gunshots, sires and strobe lights, also will be
tried to deter wolves, he said.
In years past before the killing of problem
wolves was allowed, the wolves were trapped an
rlocated in more remote areas away from farms,
"There really aren't any good places any more,"
The state hopes to resume killing problem wolves
once the animal is removed from the federal
endangered species, a process that is underway
and could be completed as early as late this
year, Wydeven said.
Koens said it's difficult for producers to
continue to wait in the meantime as their
livestock comes under attack.
"There doesn't seem like there's going to be any
solution here in the short-term future," Koens
In another development Tuesday, a committee of
the Natural Resource Board took no action on
whether to recommend that the wolf management
plan be amended to broaden the definition of
problem wolves to those that also harass and
scare livestock, Wydeven said.
The issue will be reviewed and likely considered
in the board's annual update of the management
plan next summer, the wolf expert said.
Additional related reading:
Wisconsin Cattlemens Association
KARE11.com Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
Farmers vs. the Wolves
- farm animals threatened by no-kill
By Jim Dick
email@example.com or 608-251-3900
The Grey Wolf population continues to grow in
That's good news for the wolves, but bad news
for farmers, where new packs have been forming
at the edge of the northern forest and closer to
farm areas in Douglas and Bayfield Counties.
According to the DNR's Adrian Wydeven, the
wolves are killing farm animals. Four farms
[have been] hit this month alone. That's about
the same as last year -- but last year the DNR
had permission to kill problem wolves.
This year a federal judge ruled they can't
kill any more [wolves] after an
group claimed it violated the
Endangered Species Act.
Farmers have to
resort to trap and release, flashing lights,
noisemakers and other things that will scare off
Wydeven says it all helps, but is not very
effective. The Grey Wolf may come off
the endangered list in 2007, well before the
judge's ruling can be successfully appealed.
Copyright 2006, WRN.com.