Wisconsin Assembly, Senate committees schedule joint hearing on wolves for Jan. 13

Wolf New Wdnr
(Wisconsin DNR)

Should the DNR be offering a wolf season right now? Wisconsin hunters and trappers interested in seeing the DNR offer a wolf season yet this winter may testify during a joint Senate/Assembly hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 10 a.m. in  the State Capitol’s Room 412 East. Whether a vociferous public can sway legislators and the DNR remains to be seen, but a January/February wolf season will not happen without a strong public showing at this hearing.

Here’s what’s going on – the Wednesday event is a joint hearing before two legislative committees, the Senate Committee on Sporting Heritage, Small Business and Rural Issues and the Assembly Committee on Sporting Heritage. The hearing is listed as an “informational topic” on 2011 Act 169, a state law that requires the DNR to offer a wolf season if wolves are removed from the United States Endangered Species List. That happened Jan. 5. Because this is listed as an informational hearing, no action is expected from the committee that day. However, if enough citizens make their wishes known and convince committee members a season should take place, the committee chairs have options available to them after the informational hearing.

The key here – for anyone who wants to testify electronically or in person – is to make it clear that you want a season NOW. The DNR has the ability and the science to do so. We could easily and quickly put on a season, say, with a 200-wolf quota for 2,000 tags. Remind committee members that the 2011 Act 169 states the DNR “shall” hold a season when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delists wolves in our region. There is no ambiguity in the law.

To learn how to testify in-person on Jan. 13, or to do so electronically, contact Assembly committee clerk, Allison Hertz, at allison.hertz@legis.wisconsin.gov, Assembly staff perspm Patrick Kanarowski at patrick.kanarowski@legis.wisconsin, Senate committee clerk, Shelby Schmudlach, at shelby.schmudlach@legis.wisconsin.gov, Senate staff person Andrew Gustafson at andrew.gustafson@legis.wisconsin.gov, or Senate staff person Sharlene Konkel at sharlene.konkel@legis.wisconsin.gov. Typically, anyone who wants to testify in person can simply show up the day of the hearing and register at the door to testify. Citizens may also attend the hearing to listen to the testimony.

The chairs of each committee are Rep. Treig Pronschinske, R-Eau Claire, and Sen. Rob Stafsholt, R-New Richmond. Email them at rep.pronschinske@legis.wisconsin.gov or sen.stafsholt@legis.wisconsin.gov.

Sportsmen can easily watch the hearing live or archived on WisconsinEye at https://wiseye.org/schedule. Once on the link, scroll down to hearings listed for Wednesday, Jan. 13. It’s the only hearing listed for that day. Viewers won’t be able to testify through WisconsinEye – that’s simply a means of watching the hearing.

Hunter Nation’s Wisconsin directory, Tyler Ruhland, has been pushing hard to get wolf season supporters involved in the hearing. Anyone with questions about Hunter Nation’s efforts or the hearing may contact Ruhland by email at tyler@hunternation.org.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Wisconsin – Dean Bortz

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