Standing Up for Adaptive Wolf Management
WI Green Fire, November 15, 2023
By Paul Heinen, WGF Policy Director
Representing Wisconsin’s Green Fire, Adrian Wydeven (co-chair of WGF’s Wildlife Work Group) testified at the State Capitol on November 8th in opposition to Assembly Bill 137. This bill would mandate that DNR establish a statewide wolf population goal, a mandate which WGF opposes because of our commitment to science-based management of Wisconsin’s wolves.
Adrian also testified on this topic at the October 25th meeting of the Natural Resources Board. There, he and Fred Clark testified in support of the DNR’s 2023 Wolf Management Plan. Rather than being based on a fixed population number, the new wolf plan uses an adaptive management approach. After 4 hours of citizen testimony and discussion voted 7-0 to approve the 10 year Wolf Management plan and the Administrative Rule regulating wolf management in Wisconsin. This represents the culmination of at least 3 years of sustained effort by Wisconsin’s Green Fire, our staff and members, and especially the members of our WGF Wolf Team.
In opposing Assembly Bill 137, Adrian said, “Wisconsin farmers, hunters, trappers, and other citizens are best served by a wolf management plan that focuses on sound science, ecological benefits and flexible state management to reduce conflicts, instead of relying on a low numeric goal that stymies sound management.” As one of the co-authors of the original 1999 Wolf Plan, legislators asked Adrian a number of questions about the history of wolf management in Wisconsin and thanked him for his informed testimony. The Committee did not vote on the bill but will likely schedule a vote in a few weeks.