I looked up The Center for Biological Diversity, found a contact address and wrote them an email, or Wack attack, as Fish would put it, and to my surprise I actually got a response back. I received a copy of the lawsuit and many of the big name anti hunting organizations are on it, first and foremost, The Humane Society of the United States.
Here is the letter I sent to them:
Monday, June 15, 2009 4:43 PM
I saw a news report and would like to know more about it. Here's the link to the story , http://www.wbay.com/global/story.asp?s=10534757
I live in Wisconsin , an an avid hunter and conservationist. I supported protecting the wolves and now support delisting the wolves. I am familiar with the Wisconsin DNR's wolf management plan and I am very familiar with what's going on in the north woods of Wisconsin . To put wolves back on the endangered list right now would be disaster for the wolves, deer, bears and elk.
Let me explain. As you are biologists, if you were out in the field, what you would see is the deer population has been nearly wiped out. WI bear population estimates last year was 13,000 bears. This year, the DNR admits a mistake and now estimate over 40,000 black bears. The deer population estimates were also wrong, and the new estimates are very low. The ignorant point to the wolves for this, but the truth is human error is to blame. Blame doesn't fix the problem.
What is the problem? 5th grade biology, how a food chain works is a good place to start. Wisconsin has deer, bears, wolves and of course, humans. Deer population was too high. Forest can not feed that many deer. Bear population is at it's highest point in about 200 years. Wolf population is at it's highest in nearly 200 years. Hunters, through bad numbers from DNR took record numbers of deer. If this trend continues, the deer herd will collapse and the food chain will follow. With out deer, there can be no bears, no wolves. no hunting.
Hunters gathered and fought to stop EAB, we're pressing hard to get accurate counts of deer, bears and wolves so all can be managed for the future. The best way to ensure the future of the entire food chain is to improve the food chain before it collapses. To save the wolves, we must save the elk and possible bison too. We can not sustain a large number of predators without having the species to feed them with.
I can not speak for the other states in the great lakes region but in Wisconsin , putting the wolves back on the endangered list will be the end of wolves and big game. Our DNR has it's hands full right now getting the bear population under control. They issued 6000 more bear tags for the 2009 season. Wisconsin has enough habitat for no more than 500 wolves at this time, the population is way above that. The original goal was only 350 wolves.
As a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, we've been working hard on getting elk for Wisconsin . CWD has been a big obstacle, with recent live CWD testing, we think we have the answers to get it done soon. If you are truly biologists trying to save the wolves and other endangered species, I beg you to look into the elk battle and give us a hand. Help hunters pressure the DNR into making decisions with science instead of politics. Instead of fighting them, help them. The DNR biologists and hunters want the same thing as you do. A healthy natural native food chain. The addition of bears, wolves and now cougars should sound warning bells for any biologist worth there weight in salt, if you look you should be able to see that there's not enough food in the north woods to feed them all. Again, if you want to save the wolves, help us count the deer, bears, lend a hand, be useful towards a goal we can all live with. The sooner we can get elk into the food chain, the better off all wildlife will be, but elk may not be enough.
Wisconsin DNR also has a small herd of bison that's behind fences in Sandhill Wildlife area. When they get too many for the pasture size, they sell them off to farmers. 200 years ago, bison was one of the wolves favorite foods. Bringing back the wolves opens the doors for elk and bison in Wisconsin . The DNR has no business selling bison or even putting up fences. I'm pretty much alone in my idea that these bison should be turned loose in northern WI. and studied as a test herd much like the elk program got started in 1995.
In conclusion, I appreciate your passion for saving the wolves, you've won, the wolves are here. Like a kid with a new puppy, now you must be responsible to make sure the wolves have everything they need to survive. I don't know what's going on in other states that inspired your lawsuit, but in Wisconsin the lawsuit threatens the entire natural food chain here. Please stop and think about what you are doing because it appears to me like you are not trying to save the wolves, you're trying to kill off the entire food chain.
Here is the response I received:
Thank you for contacting us with your thoughtful email. We support the notion of bringing back all native species and commend you for your work to restore elk and bison to Wisconsin .
Research has shown that wolves will not in and of themselves wipe out deer herds. When deer numbers get low, wolves are more likely to disperse to different areas which results in expanded range.
One of the problems in the delisting is that Fish and Wildlife Service has not developed a nationwide gray wolf recovery plan that looks at unoccupied habitat for its potential to support wolves instead creating delisted zones ("distinct population segments") encompassing 2 of the 3 existing populations of wolves (Great Lakes and northern Rockies) but extending much further than those populations currently do. That means that dispersing wolves are likely to be legally killed in attempting to colonize the vast majority of their historic range that is currenty wolfless.
You may be interested in reading the text of our legal complaint, at http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/mammals/gray_wolf/pdfs/Complaint-06-15-2009.pdf
Michael J. Robinson
Center for Biological Diversity
P.O. Box 53166
Pinos Altos, NM 88053
[url=http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/][color="#000000"]I encourage every hunter in Wisconsin or other states to contact these people and help educate them to what they are doing. Question them, challenge them, hold them responsible, get them talking and poke holes in there flawed ways of thinking. I have written a response to Mr. Robinson's response, at best maybe he'll learn something, at worst I've wasted some of his time. I think if they fought to save the wolves, then it's only right for them to also save the elk, bison and every other native species that wolves once fed upon. They want to take control of the wolves away from Wisconsin and let them spread uncontrolled and totally protected. They want wolves to wipe out the deer and move on. Call them, write them, engage with them with intelligence and divert there efforts towards a goal we can all live with. [/color]
American by birth, hunter by choice.