Saturday in Whitewater will be mostly cloudy with a high of 37. Sunrise is 6:44 AM and sunset 4:34 PM for 9h 49m 53s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 84.5% of its visible disk illuminated.
It’s been decades since Wisconsin crafted a new wolf conservation plan, but that long stretch may soon come to an end. Danielle Kaeding reports Wisconsin’s new wolf management plan nixes a statewide population goal (‘DNR accepting input on first new plan in nearly 25 years’):
Wisconsin wildlife regulators are shifting away from a statewide wolf population goal in favor of managing animals locally within the state’s six wolf hunting zones under a draft plan released Thursday.
The plan is being met with support by conservation and environmental groups while some lawmakers and hunting groups criticized the timing of its release just two days after voters reelected Gov. Tony Evers.
It’s the first new wolf management plan in more than two decades since the first was approved in 1999. That plan was last revised in 2007. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources began crafting a new plan in 2013, but the draft was abandoned two years later following a federal judge’s ruling to restore protections for the animal in late 2014. In February, a federal judge once again listed the species as endangered across most of the country.
“The proposed draft Wolf Management Plan reflects the detailed and significant work done by DNR staff to ensure the health and stability of Wisconsin’s wolf population. Input from diverse and varied stakeholders was critical to the development of this proposal,” said DNR Secretary Preston Cole in a statement.
The last plan set a population goal of 350 wolves at a time when Wisconsin had roughly 250 wolves. Since then, DNR data from September shows the animal’s population has grown four times that number to nearly 1,000 wolves. Meanwhile, neighboring Minnesota has released a draft plan to maintain a population between 2,200 and 3,000 wolves.