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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

So our good friend Rachel Tilseth at WOLVES OF DOUGLAS COUNTY shared with me yesterday how pro Wolf hunting politics strips peer reviewed science from the decision making process at the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources..........Cathy Stepp, Govenor, Walker's DNR Secretary and hand-picked, "chamber-of commerce" anti-conservation tool, has unapologetically confirmed to the news media on Wednesday June 25 that the agency kicked wolf advocates off a broadly-based citizen advisory committee................. The reconstituted group now stacked with wolf-hunt proponents will play a key role in the development of a long-term wolf management (killing plan) now under development in Wisconsin

From: Rachel Tilseth <>
Date: June 28, 2014, 12:12:12 PM PDT
To: "Meril, Rick" <>
Subject: DNR hunt club exposed even admits they booted pro wolf advocates off

DNR Secretary Confirms That Wolf Hunt Opponents Were Removed From Advisory Committee

Cathy Stepp Says Staunch Hunting Opponents Weren't Being Productive Members Of Advisory Body
By Chuck Quirmbach
Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp revealed at a DNR Board meeting on Wednesday that the agency removed people who were staunchly opposed to wolf hunting from the state’s Wolf Advisory Committee.
While a lot of the public discussion during the meeting was about a new wolf hunting quota, some of it was also about a change over the last two years in the makeup of the DNR’s advisory committee on wolves.
Stepp confirmed what her critics have alleged: that wolf hunting opponents were by and large kicked off the committee.
“When we’re charged to manage and to implement a hunt, coming in and telling us, ‘Don’t hunt wolves,’ is not a productive way to run a committee, frankly,” said Stepp. “That’s just the candid way to lay it out. We had to have people who were willing to work with us in partnership, and be willing to help us and advise us along the way in implementing state law.”
Rachel Tilseth of Wolves of Douglas County Wisconsin was a volunteer DNR tracker of wolves for about a dozen winters, and attended a few meetings of what used to be called the Wisconsin Wolf Stakeholders Group. Tilseth testified about the wolf hunt proposal during Wednesday’s meeting.
She later said she didn't care for Stepp's remarks.
“I was just appalled that somebody like Cathy Stepp, who’s in charge of this important issue, is saying something like that,” said Tilseth. “It sounds to me like it’s a committee that they want made up of wolf-killers.”
Several DNR staff are on the recently created Wolf Advisory Committee, as are representatives of several pro-hunting groups. A smaller number of wolf hunting skeptics also remain on the committee, including a representative of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission.  
This is serious: Cathy Stepp, Walker's DNR Secretary and hand-picked, "chamber-of commerce" anti-conservation tool,  has unapologetically confirmed to news media that the agency kicked wolf advocates off a broadly-based citizen advisory committee; the reconstituted group now stacked with wolf-hunt proponents will play a key role in the development of a long-term wolf management  killing plan now under development.
Wisconsin is killing its wolves
No wonder that dispirited career DNR employees with science backgrounds are leaving the agency, and those remaining are being kept in line with your classic bureaucratic iron fist in the velvet glove: patronizing, top-down/follow-your-orders directives dressed up in team-building mumbo-jumbo and cheer-leading slogans.

Stepp is admitting what the wolf hunt opponents had charged - - publicly in the Journal Sentinel and in a first-person guest posting on this blog:

Turning state policy-making over to special-interest, pro-hunter-and-gun-lobby politicking that literally will spill blood.

And further narrow and damage an outdoors experience for Wisconsinites who prefer taking a camera or their children into the woods for a peaceful hike without a rifle, leg traps or GPS-driven baying hunting hounds.

In a state where hunters have recently been given the right to shoot and trap in state parks.

Where cruelty to wildlife, and in some cases to hunting dogs, is sanctioned by various permissible 'training' practices.

And where big business interests will be permitted to remove unsustainable quantities of groundwater, pollute the air and water near big dairies with airborne and piped manure, fill wetlands with debris at a proposed and gargantuan open-pit iron mine site up North, and fill the air near dozens of new sand mines near the Mississippi River with dust.

Stepp is admitting to an intentional and politicized manipulation and giveaway of wildlife and land rights that are under state trust management for all the people of Wisconsin.

She is capitulating to powerful hunting and gun lobbies often aligned with conservative politicians - - about which the public got a peek a few months ago when Walker, DNR Secretary Stepp and their partisan cronies were all caught trying to funnel public money and program management to a so-called sportsman's group that had helped Walker win his recall election.

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