It may be a contentious meeting in Stevens Point Tuesday, as the DNR Board is scheduled to vote on rules for the planned wolf hunt in Wisconsin.
About 40 people have signed up to testify before the board as the panel considers a DNR staff proposal to kill up to 201 gray wolves during the first wolf hunt this fall. DNR land administrator Kurt Thiede maintains that's a conservative approach, although 201 is just a little under 25 percent of the estimated state wolf population.
Thiede also cautions that Chippewa tribes in northern Wisconsin may claim up to half the kill quota. Tribal representatives may reveal how many, if any, wolves that tribal members plan to actually kill. Pro-hunting groups may push the DNR board to raise the wolf quota higher than 201. But hunters who oppose killing wolves also plan to be at the meeting. Edward Peters of Sawyer County says having a sizable number of wolves helps the deer population.
Noted UW-Madison botany professor Don Waller cites scientific and other concerns, in asking the DNR board to send the wolf hunt rules back to staff for more work. But Republican state lawmakers demanded the hunt start this fall.