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Politics & Government

Oneida County Board passes resolution supporting limiting state’s wolf population

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The Oneida County Board passed an advisory resolution during Tuesday’s meeting to express support for maintaining the state’s wolf population at 350 animals or less.

Their input will advise the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as it revises its wolf management plan.

Since the wolf was relisted under the Federal Endangered Species Act in February, the state and private landowners are limited in their ability to control the animal’s population.

Neither group can use lethal weapons to kill wolves, even though experts say the wolf population in Wisconsin has rebounded and is now fairly healthy.

That means the annual wolf hunt has been cancelled, and as a result the state has to redo its wolf management plan.

As it formulates that plan, the Oneida County Board passed a resolution advising the state to approve a wolf population goal of 350 animals or less.

That’s the carrying capacity the DNR established for wolves in 1999.

Paul Fiene, the county forestry director, says county resolutions like this can be helpful for state lawmakers.

“Having resolutions such as this on record would help state representatives in their fight to get the animal removed from the list,” he says.

The resolution notes 36 other county boards – half of the county boards in Wisconsin – have passed similar resolutions recommending Wisconsin keep its wolf population under 350 animals.

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