Wisconsin wildlife officials on Friday released thousands of public comments on a new wolf management plan, some calling for the restoration of a statewide population limit and others urging a total hunting ban.
Department of Natural Resources in November released a draft of its first new wolf management plan in almost 25 years. It would eliminate the existing 350-animal population goal and recommends instead that the DNR work with local advisory committees on whether to reduce local wolf populations, keep them stable, or allow them to grow.
The window for submitting comments on the draft plan ended Feb. 28. The DNR posted about 3,500 redacted comments on its website Friday afternoon.
The comments broadly reflected all sides of the long-running debate over how to best handle the growing number of wolves in Wisconsin. DNR estimates released in September put the statewide population at about 1,000 animals.
Northern Wisconsin farmers have long complained about wolves preying on livestock. Hunters have pointed to the 350-animal number as justification for setting generous quotas during the state’s fall wolf season.