Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) is leading efforts in the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation to delist the gray wolf in Wisconsin and the Western Great Lakes from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife.
Working with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Governor Scott Walker, Baldwin authored a letter signed by nine Members of the Delegation and sent today to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe requesting the delisting and expressing concern with the comment period FWS has reopened on reclassifying the gray wolf in the eastern United States as a new species.
"I am proud to work with the Governor, Senators Kohl and Johnson, and Congressmen Kind, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Ryan, Duffy, and Ribble in this bipartisan effort to protect Wisconsin's people and property in a vibrant ecosystem," said Congresswoman Baldwin. "The resurgence of the gray wolf in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region is a stunning success story for the Endangered Species Act and a lesson in exceptional wildlife management," Baldwin said.
Once endangered, the gray wolf is now more prevalent in Wisconsin than in any state other than Alaska and Minnesota. Its numbers (roughly 800) far exceed both the Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan goal of 350 and the federal recovery goal of 100.
While the population of gray wolves in Wisconsin is robust, the natural habitat of wolves is shrinking. As a result, wolves are a constant threat to the livestock of ranchers and farmers and too many family pets. Last year in Wisconsin, 47 farms lost at least 75 livestock animals and saw injuries to six more.
By removing the gray wolf from the endangered species list in our state, Wisconsin officials believe they can effectively balance the preservation of the species with the safety and well-being of Wisconsinites.