Great Lakes wolf ruling draws debate - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Great Lakes wolf ruling draws debate


A ruling on Great Lakes wolves is stirring up debate in central Wisconsin. Tuesday, a federal appeals court decided to keep gray wolves on the endangered species list.

The animal has gone from nearly extinct to roughly 1,000 in Wisconsin. Whether to manage the animal at a state level and delist them has become a polarizing topic.

"It's just a slap in the face," said farmer Bryan Jones. "How many dogs have to die, how many livestock gotta die?"

Jones lost several sheep last year, the DNR confirmed that it was probably from a wolf.

"Pretty frustrating," said Jones. "Feels like no one cares about us."

State Senator Tom Tiffany was also unhappy with the courts ruling.

"It was not surprising, disappointing, but not surprising," said Tiffany. "The wolf population is increasing unchecked."

However, others are happy with the decision.

"I think that they ruled the right way," said Douglas Co. wolf tracker Rachel Tilseth. "Wolves have not recovered completely."

Tilseth said more research needs to be done on the gray wolves.

"We need to take the time now to learn more about wolves and continue recovery, because wolves are very good for our environment," said Tilseth.

Farmers like Jones still hope something gets done about the wolf population.

"Very few farmers left, if you want to drive more people out, this is a good step," said Jones. "You just get to the point where why should we bother?"

Tiffany has been very involved in a bill circulating that would delist the gray wolf. Right now, it's been approved by a senate committee, however still needs approval by full congress. Tiffany said he hopes that gets done soon.

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