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Wisconsin DNR policy board picks new chairman

A zoom meeting of the Natural Resources Board last year.
A zoom meeting of the Natural Resources Board last year.

The state Department of Natural Resources policy board has chosen a new chairman.

The board voted 4-3 on Wednesday to elevate board member Greg Kazmierski to the leadership position.

He replaces Fred Prehn, who will remain on the board as a member.

Prehn's term on the board ended last May and Gov. Tony Evers appointed Sandra Naas to replace him.

But Prehn has refuses to step aside for Naas, ensuring conservatives maintain their majority on the board.

He argues he doesn't have to leave until the state Senate confirms Naas.

The Senate has made no moves toward taking a vote on her.

The state Supreme Court is reviewing whether Prehn has a right to remain on the board.

Wolf Policy

During the meeting, Kazmierski suggested that the agency's new wolf management plan not include a specific population goal.

The DNR's current wolf management plan dates back to 1999 and sets out a population goal of 350 animals.

The DNR's latest population estimates, compiled over the winter of 2019-20, totaled about 1,030 animals.

Wolf hunt supporters have used the 350-animal goal as justification for trimming the population through hunting.

The DNR anticipates issuing a new management plan by June.

Kazmierzski said during a meeting Wednesday that nobody believes the DNR's population estimates and suggested that rather than establishing a numeric goal the plan should signal whether the population should shrink or grow.

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