- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014
Wisconsin DNR: No comment on wolf decision

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin wildlife officials aren’t saying anything about a federal judge’s decision to place Great Lakes wolves back on the endangered species list.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s order Friday affects Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The ruling bans further wolf hunting and trapping in those states.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bill Cosh had no immediate comment Friday afternoon. A state Department of Justice spokeswoman said that agency is still reviewing the decision.

Jodi Habush Sinykin, an attorney for Midwest Environmental Advocates, which supports science-based wildlife management, said the decision should serve as a clear signal of caution to people who would destroy the nation’s wolves.

A spokesman for the Conservation Congress, a group of sportsmen who advise the DNR on policy, didn’t immediately return a message.


Humane Society blames lead bullets for bald eagle death

MILWAUKEE (AP) - One bald eagle has died and another is in serious condition in Wisconsin after ingesting lead from ammunition.

The Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1sPXazx) reports the Dane County Humane Society has treated two bald eagles with lead poisoning in the past two weeks. The birds likely swallowed lead while feeding on deer or other wildlife carcasses that had been shot, or by eating waterfowl that had ingested lead.

The first bald eagle survived only a day after it was brought into a Humane Society facility last week with acute lead poisoning. The Humane Society hopes a second bird found Friday will survive.

The Humane Society urges hunters to recover animals they’ve shot and to use ammunition without lead, like copper bullets.


Some gray wolves to be returned to endangered list

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A federal judge on Friday threw out an Obama administration decision to remove gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list - a decision that will ban further wolf hunting and trapping in three states.

The order affects wolves in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, where the combined population is estimated at around 3,700. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service dropped federal protections from those wolves in 2012 and handed over management to the states.

U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday the removal was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the federal Endangered Species Act.

Unless overturned, her decision will block the states from scheduling additional hunting and trapping seasons for the predators. All three have had at least one hunting season since protections were lifted, while Minnesota and Wisconsin also have allowed trapping. More than 1,500 Great Lakes wolves have been killed, said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, which filed a lawsuit that prompted Howell’s ruling.

“We are pleased that the court has recognized that the basis for the delisting decision was flawed, and would stop wolf recovery in its tracks,” Lovvorn said.

Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Gavin Shire said the agency was disappointed and would confer with the U.S. Department of Justice and the states about whether to appeal.

“The science clearly shows that wolves are recovered in the Great Lakes region, and we believe the Great Lakes states have clearly demonstrated their ability to effectively manage their wolf populations,” Shire said. “This is a significant step backward.”


Wisconsin jobs agency losing another top exec

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The fourth chief financial officer in less than four years at the Wisconsin agency charged with job creation and economic development is leaving.

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation spokesman Mark Maley said Friday that CFO Stephanie Walker is resigning in mid-January to join her husband who took a job in the Washington, D.C. area.

Walker, who is no relation to Gov. Scott Walker, has been CFO since June 2013.

Maley says a search for her replacement will begin immediately.

Earlier this month Ryan Murray, the agency’s chief operating officer, left to take a job lobbying the state Legislature.

WEDC was created by the governor and Legislature in 2011 as a semi-private operation to retain and attract businesses to the state. It’s been beset with high turnover in top leadership positions.

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