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State preparing rules for possible future management of wolves


Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Secretary believes the state is well prepared to take over management of wolves.

Right now, the wolf has federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

If that ever changes, management of wolves would return to the state.

DNR Secretary Adam Payne spoke at a recent meeting of the Natural Resources Board.

“We are pleased to assert that the Wisconsin wolf population has biologically recovered, that we have a healthy and sustainable wolf population, and that the Department of Natural Resources stands ready to have full management authority returned to the state of Wisconsin” said Payne.

Wisconsin has been working on a new wolf management plan, with a draft plan out for public comment.

Payne says they are also working on draft rules to put the plan in place.

“The draft rule updates implement recommendations that are described in the revised management plan and include regulations that will improve our ability to effectively manage the wolf population. We are seeking public comment on the draft rule. Written comments will be accepted through September 15th, and there will be a virtual public hearing on the rule on September 12th.”

Those rules would go into effect if federal protection for wolves was removed.

The draft wolf management plan does not set a numeric population goal.

Instead, it focuses on six management goals that differ based on where you are in the state, and what kind of wolf habitat and human conflict exists in that area.

The new draft does include some general guidance on what the state’s goal would be in terms of growing, stabilizing, or reducing the wolf population based on population estimates.

The draft management plan and rules are expected to go before the Natural Resources Board in October.

John Burton is the WXPR Morning Edition Host.
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