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This week was a hearing in Madison on a bill to strip the DNR of funding to manage wolves, with the exception of paying out for wolf predation.

The developers of the legislation, including State Senator Tom Tiffany,(R-Hazelhurst) feel it's a way to prod the federal government into taking action to de-list the wolves from federal endangered species protections, returned to those protections by federal courts.

Martin Mecnarowski

Frustration with Congressional inactivity to delist timber wolves in this region from the federal Endangered Species List has led a group of state legislators to propose a bill that would end the state’s efforts to manage wolves. It would force law enforcement to ignore wolf killings, unless the federal government removes the animals from the list.

State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst and Representative Mary Felzkowski of Irma are among the legislators circulating the bill.With the exception of paying out wolf damage payments, no other DNR enforcement action would be allowed.


A DNR wildlife biologist is asking trappers, who incidentally capture wolves, to contact department staff and participate in Wisconsin's wolf collaring and monitoring program.

The DNR's Nathan Libal says the capture will help the DNR....


Survey work over the winter by the DNR shows the wolf population has grown.

Monitoring efforts over the winter found a count of 925-956 wolves in 232 packs, a 6.8 percent increase from the previous winter.

DNR large carnivore specialist David MacFarland in Rhinelander says the wolf population fluctuates...


A spokesperson for the state chapter of the Humane Society of the United States says they're disappointed in last week's action by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about wolf classification.

Wolf Population Increases By Thirteen Percent

Jun 11, 2015
Brooks Tracy / USFWS

Despite about a hundred and fifty wolves taken in a wolf hunt last winter, Wisconsin’s wolf population has increased. 

Preliminary numbers from the state DNR have put last winter’s population between 746 and 771 wolves.

That’s a thirteen percent increase from the year before, when numbers were as low as 660.    

Carnivore Specialist Dave Macfarland says the number is on the upper end of what biologists expected when they set a hunting quota last year. 


U.P. Wolf Group Questions Michigan DNR Motives

Mar 2, 2015

Michigan has joined the federal government in appealing a judge's ruling that re-classified grey wolves as an endangered species. U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled in December that wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan should not have been removed from the endangered list. Michigan's D-N-R said residents who have to live with the wolves deserve a full range of tools to manage them, while keeping the population sustainable.

Derek Bakken

In his continuing series, "Wildlife Matters", DNR biologist Jeremy Holtz says sometimes good intentions don't always end up with the best results.

Next time, Jeremy will be talking about turkeys surviving our long, cold winter.


A new report finds that female coyotes can give birth to mixed wolf-coyote pups. The study could have implications in the debate regarding placing wolves on the endangered species according to one researcher.

Three groups, including the U.S. Geological Society did the research.

U.S. G. S.'s Dr. David Mech says the study adds a bit of information to an on-going debate among geneticists about whether eastern gray wolves are a unique species from it's western U.S. counterpart....

Wolves, Cougars and Bears, Oh My

Jan 7, 2014

Dave MacFarland is a large carnivore specialist with the Wisconsin DNR.  He coordinates the state’s wolf and bear management plan, plus its cougar response team.  

He’s also the guest at this week’s Science on Tap discussion at the Minocqua Brewing Company.  WXPR’s Natalie Jablonski spoke with him about what carnivore management looks like in the state.  


20 hunting dogs have been killed since July as they come into contact with wolves.

Typically, the dogs are trained to hunt bear in July and August. During that time, the dogs are in the woods and come into contact with wolves who have young, especially near what are called rendezvous sites.

DNR Large Carnivore Specialist David MacFarland says the depredation numbers are up...