Posted at 2:40 p.m. on November 8, 2017
The Brillion News
MADISON – Four Republican state legislators are circulating a bill that would ban police officers from enforcing federal or state laws protecting wolves.
Representatives Adam Jarchow, R-Balsam Lake, Mary Felzkowski, R-Irma, Romaine Quinn, R-Rice Lake, and Senator Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, started circulating Bill 3737/1 on Wednesday, November 8.
This bill would prohibit law enforcement from enforcing any federal or state laws related to managing the state’s wolf population and prohibit the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from using any funds for the purpose of managing wolves in Wisconsin.
“If Congress refuses to act – we will. It is clear that Congress will not be solving Wisconsin’s wolf issue anytime soon, therefore we must take matters into our own hands.” Rep. Jarchow said. “It is heartbreaking to hear about a farmer losing livestock or a family losing its pet to a pack of wolves.”
Since the wolf has been put on the Endangered Species List, the increase in the number of wolves in Wisconsin has multiplied, especially across northern Wisconsin. The state was believed to be home to 925 wolves last winter – up from 25 wolves in 1980.
The sponsors of the bill said that, if the state legislature passes this bill, Congress will have no choice but to de-list the wolf in Wisconsin, as it did in Idaho in 2011 after Idaho Governor Butch Otter issued an executive order which would have had similar implications to this bill.
“At the Great Lakes Wolf Summit last fall, we heard dozens of people tell their stories about how the overpopulation of wolves has affected their lives. It is time for Wisconsin to once again manage our own wolf population and this bill will allow us to do just that,” said Senator Tiffany.
“I’m tired of telling constituents that there is nothing the state can do. There is, and this legislation is it. If the Federal government wants to enforce a ridiculous judicial ruling, let them pay for it themselves”, said Rep. Quinn.