Board member suggests no population goal in new wolf plan

Us: Wolves May Need Protections After States Expand Hunting
Jacob W. Frank

FILE - This Nov. 7, 2017, file photo provided by the National Park Service shows a wolf in Yellowstone National Park, Wyo. The Humane Society and other groups filed a legal petition Wednesday, May 26, 2021, asking Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to use her emergency authority to return thousands of wolves in the region to the endangered species list.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A member of the Department of Natural Resources policy board is suggesting that the agency’s new wolf management plan not include a specific population goal.

The DNR’s current wolf management plan dates back to 1999 and sets out a population goal of 350 animals.

The DNR’s latest population estimates, compiled over the winter of 2019-20, totaled about 1,030 animals. Wolf hunt supporters have used the 350-animal goal as justification for trimming the population through hunting.

The DNR anticipates issuing a new management plan by June.

Board member Greg Kazmierzski said during a meeting Wednesday that nobody believes the DNR’s population estimates and suggested that rather than establishing a numeric goal the plan should signal whether the population should shrink or grow.