New hunters’ rights group targets DNR wolf management
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has never enjoyed a high approval rating with many sportsmen and women. But the agency’s hands-off policy on the burgeoning gray wolf population in…
Leftist green groups have long relied on the courts to overturn the will of the people as expressed in laws they don’t like. For example, the usual suspects from the Sierra Club to the Humane Society to the Center for Biological Diversity have filed a federal lawsuit–again–to prevent the recent delisting of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act.
The same tired arguments were recycled in the Duluth News Tribune coverage on the attempt to overturn another successful case of the ESA doing its job.
The federal move to delist wolves took effect Jan. 4, handing control of the carnivores back to state and tribal resource agencies.
But the groups say the government’s actions are premature and too broad, saying wolves are still “functionally extinct” across the vast majority of their original range across the continental United States.
The lawsuit piggybacks on a previous case that wiped out a wolf management plan painstakingly agreed upon and implemented by Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. But then a Washington, DC federal court judge threw it out in 2014.
But green groups are outraged to see conservationists turn the tables on them by employing the same tactics. A new ruling by a Wisconsin district court judge has ordered the state must hold a wolf hunt ASAP as required by state law. Green naysayers opened fire in the News Tribune.
“This ruling is such a disappointment for Wisconsin’s wolves and all who believe that science, not bullets, should drive wolf management,” said Collette Adkins, carnivore conservation director for the Center for Biological Diversity. “Trophy hunters wasted no time in pushing for this wolf hunt in the middle of the wolf breeding season, against the advice of state experts, and without consultation with regional tribes. We will continue our fight to stop the hunt.”
Yet there’s a big difference in that conservationists sued to force Wisconsin to implement a law already on the books, rather than overturn it, as green groups generally do. A news release from Hunter Nation highlighted the legal victory, which applies only to Wisconsin.
Judge Brantmeier found that the Wisconsin DNR violated state law by refusing to schedule a winter 2021 gray wolf hunt when the gray wolf was delisted from the Endangered Species Act on January 4, 2021. Judge Brantmeier also ordered a hearing on February 16 to update the court on DNR’s progress in following the writ of mandamus.
“This is a historic victory for the Wisconsin hunter and our constitutionally protected right to hunt and manage our wildlife here in Wisconsin,” said Luke Hilgemann, President of Hunter Nation. “Today’s ruling solidifies the rule of law and finally provides clear direction to the Evers’ administration to move full speed ahead with our statutorily required wolf hunt. Any attempts by the Evers’ administration to overturn this ruling are a direct assault to the constitutional rights of Wisconsin hunters.”
There’s no update on the status of the left’s latest lawsuit to undo local control of state resources when it comes to wolf management in Minnesota and the other lower 48 states. But you don’t need to be an attorney to know Wisconsin hunters would be well advised to take advantage of the shortened season just in case.
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