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Letter to the Editor: Vote for wolf control beyond idle words

As another spring has arrived, the same story repeats itself: Wolves decimating deer herds, wolfing down farm livestock, and devouring pets.

This past winter saw a renewed exposure of these nefarious activities of our exploding wolf population. Hunters and farmers have been silently steaming for years about this depredation, but it was the Hunters4Hunters group that brought this story to the forefront. With meetings all across northern Minnesota, this group united these voices with a real push to finally get some legislative action on wolves.

To this end, the wolf control bill introduced this past legislative session by Rep. Dave Lislegard, DFL-Aurora, and Sen. Grant Hauschild, DFL-Hermantown, in my opinion, did nothing to control wolves but simply follows the guidelines of the DNR wolf management plan. That 68-page document of wordy platitudes would allow the estimated 2,700 wolves now to increase to more than 3,000.

No wonder, though, when we consider their methodology. The wolf management plan is basically a social/cultural opinion poll, in my opinion. Never fear though, there will be a wolf technical committee overseeing this, with members appointed by the DNR.

Think we’re rubbing the DNR too hard? Consider this: The U.S. House of Representatives had a hearing on wolves on May 3 in Sandstone, with congressional members from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Utah, along with a panel of expert witnesses. DNR commissioner Sarah Strommen ignored the invitation. The absence speaks volumes. As an exclamation point, U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman from Wyoming concluded the Minnesota wolf plan should be properly titled the “Protect the Wolf Forever Plan.”

The lame Lislegard/Hausechild bill was bad enough, but even more puzzling is the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association endorsement of it. As for the legislature, the one-party trifecta obviously isn’t working. New voices are truly needed that will enact meaningful wolf management. Outdoorsmen need to vote.

Jim Hofsommer, Markham, St. Louis County

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