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WFBF Submits Comments For Removing Protections on Wolves
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/05/2011

The state's largest farm organization has submitted a letter to federal regulators supporting the removal of gray wolves from protected status. In its memo, the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation says it supports the proposal from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to remove the Western Great Lakes Distinct Population Segment of gray wolves from the Federal list of endangered and threatened species.

The organization says Wisconsin has exceeded population goals set in the 1989 wolf recovery plan devised by the Department of Natural Resources. A goal of 80 wolves was met in 1997; and by 1999 the DNR created a wolf management plan for an increasing population of gray wolves that called for a delisting goal of 250 wolves and a state management goal of 350 wolves. The wolf count in 2010-2011 determined over 800 gray wolves are living in Wisconsin.

"The carrying capacity for wolves in the Wisconsin landscape has been exceeded and is causing stress and destructive behavior by some wolf populations," wrote Karen Gefvert, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Director of Governmental Relations. "Wolf verified livestock kills have increased over 250 percent since 2003 and almost doubled from 2009 to 2010."

Total incidents of depredation of livestock and pets for Wisconsin in 2010 were 99. In addition, there were 20 depredation related injuries to livestock and pets in 2010. Total compensation for wolf confirmed injury or loss in Wisconsin totaled approximately $175,000.

Farm Bureau notes that a reduction in funding from the federal government for wolf depredation management, Wisconsin must be given the tools needed to manage wolf populations.

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