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MN House: wolf-management hearing, 1/28/2014, critical excerpts.

posted Feb 13, 2014, 3:06 PM by Scott Slocum   [ updated Feb 15, 2014, 11:40 AM ]

This is a collection of requests to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) to fulfill the whole MN Wolf Management Plan (not just the parts the MN DNR likes).

If there are any errors, please contact Scott or leave a comment on the YouTube page.

The times given below mark the starting point of each segment of the YouTube video, above, in minutes and seconds. Similar bookmarks on the YouTube video description are hyperlinked so that you can go straight to the desired part of the video.

00:08 Rep. Jason Isaacson (DFL-42B) on how much science is called for by the MN Wolf Management Plan vs. how much has been allowed into it by the MN DNR and the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture (MDA). The MDA was not in attendance at this hearing.

05:43 Terrence "Terry" Tibbetts, District II Representative of the White Earth Tribal Council, on the Council's 8/12/2012 designation of the White Earth Reservation as Ma'iingan or Wolf Sanctuary; on the MN Legislature's and the MN DNR's refusal to acknowledge the Council's voice on the issue of the new MN recreational wolf hunting and trapping seasons; and on the DNR's refusal to acknowledge that sanctuary from those hunting and trapping seasons.

07:50 Howard Goldman, Humane Society of the United States, on the propriety of the MN Wolf Management Plan, sportsmen's motivations vs. the impracticality of the recreational wolf hunting and trapping seasons, and the importance of wolves and wildlife as part of the Public Trust--for all citizens.

09:17 Dr. Adrian Treves, UW-Madison, with one of the most informative testimonies of the evening. No more than three minutes though, Dr. Treves. Even though you've got a lot of information we really need, we're pretty sure "we know best."

11:18 Maureen Hackett, Howling for Wolves, with a straight-to-the-point analysis of the MN Wolf Management Plan, and what needs to be done to carry it out (not just the parts the DNR favors). For example, The Howling for Wolves proposal for a Minnesota program of non-lethal depredation control.

13:13 Kathleen Zweber, a farmer and hunter on the North Shore, on the value of balance in the natural environment we share with wildlife, and on how an ounce of prevention (e.g. pursuing effective livestock management and avoiding the feeding of wildlife), is worth a pound of cure (e.g. lethal control).

14:42 Lois Norrgard, Sierra Club, on the ecological importance of the wolf as a keystone species, the social aspects (wild and human) of properly-integrated wolf management, the inappropriate randomness of the recreational hunt, and the need for improved public involvement.

16:12 Barry Babcock on the pleasures of rural life in wolf country and the deer overpopulation near Bemidji.

18:01 Scott Slocum (joining the chorus) on what needs to be done to fulfill the MN Wolf Management Plan, including one of its guiding statements, that "where wolves are not in conflict with humans, they will be left alone...", its call for research and development of non-lethal depredation control, and its call to encourage improved human tolerance for wolves.

19:17 Robert Shimek, White Earth Indian Reservation, on the failure of the State of MN to recognize the White Earth Reservation as a Ma'iingan (wolf) sanctuary. "Let this Legislature be the one that tells the world that we will legislate based on principals of tolerance, inclusion, and respect."

21:02 Mike Wagner, volunteer, Howling for Wolves, on the principal of managing wolves for their own sake, rather than for the sake of our various vested interests.

21:28 Nicole Hendrickson, Bemidji, MN, and member of the Sokaogon Ojibwe Community. We have seen what happened when we left wolf management up to hunters, trappers, and cattlemen. The voice of the citizens of Minnesota has been undermined by side-stepping the Wolf Management Plan. The people's non-consumptive appreciation of wolves has not been honored. Consultation with tribes has not been done, and public input has not been honored. If this is really about wolf numbers getting out of control, I would like to see statistics that show their numbers climbing.

23:36 Sandra Skinaway, Northwoods Wolf Alliance, on the brotherhood of the Anishinabe (Native-American Ojibwe) and the Ma'iingan (wolves). Wolves have as much right to exist and inhabit this land as we all do; they belong here, and they have a purpose. Respect and coexistence are the keys here.

24:39 Matt Johnson, hiker and outdoor enthusiast, on the shortcomings of the MN DNR to properly manage Minnesota wolves due to their tendency to favor hunters, trappers and farmers over sound science and "the preferences of the vast majority of Minnesotans who cherish animals as a beautiful and innately-valuable portion of the world's and Minnesota's habitat."

25:06 Steven Deerwolf Thompson, Red Lake Reservation and Little Earth Community, on the communities' opposition to the recreational wolf hunting and trapping seasons. Wildlife management should not be all about numbers, but these seasons were rushed into law without even gathering the proper numbers or the other critical information, including a lack of proper studies and press releases on the decline of the Minnesota moose population. The moose is important, but it's not more important than the wolf--everything has its place.

26:30 Nancy Christopher, Bemidji, MN area, on ethical hunting vs. commonly-unethical behavior toward wolves. "Shoot, shovel, and shut-up" (SSS) is alive and well in  Minnesota--even on her "Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) critical habitat" property. We know the reasons for the moose population reduction: the moose are dying of sickness. Wolves do not make adult moose sick.

27:18 Dr. Adrian Treves, UW-Madison, responds to a final question from Rep. Isaacson: "How does the [recreational wolf hunting and trapping season] either help or hurt depredation?" Treves: we do not have any experimental studies on the question of how a regulated harvest affects depredation. Furthermore, we don't have strong, conclusive results of how lethal control of wolves affects depredation. There are a lot of opinions out there, but not good, systematic, scientific data; I think that needs to be collected. He recommends his colleague Elizabeth Harper, MN DNR.

28:51 The end.


Links:

* MN House video of the full hearing: http://youtu.be/-HBu893R5sQ

* My video on the Isaacson/Stark Q&A on non-lethal control: http://youtu.be/QBLdANz8c8s


MN Rep. Jason Isaacson Dan Stark, MN DNR Ed Boggess, MN DNR Maureen Hackett, Howling for Wolves Adrian Treves
MN Rep. Jason Isaacson............... Dan Stark.................................... Ed Boggess............................... Maureen Hackett.......................... Adrian Treves

Terrence Tibbetts, White Earth Reservation Nicole Hendricks, Sokaogon Ojibwe Community Robert Shimek,  White Earth Reservation Howard Goldman, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) MN Rep. David Dill, Committee Chair
Terrence Tibbetts........................... Nicole Hendrickson..................... Robert Shimek............................. Howard Goldman............................Chairman Rep. David Dill