DNR denies muzzling wolf expertAs state lawmakers debate a wolf hunting bill, the DNR denies it has muzzled one of its top wolf experts.
By: By Chuck Quirmbach, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
As state lawmakers debate a wolf hunting bill, the DNR denies it has muzzled one of its top wolf experts.
DNR mammalian ecologist Adrian Wydeven has been closely connected to the wolf population issue for decades. He was listed as a media contact in a DNR press release from January 24 that stated there were "currently no plans for a hunting season on wolves." Some opponents of the since-introduced wolf hunt bill have questioned whether the DNR has since kept Wydeven from speaking out, since in recent years he had suggested a go-very-slow approach to any wolf hunt.
DNR communications director Laurel Steffes writes the department has consulted Wydeven about the hunting bill, but that the division administrator for endangered resources and wildlife management was chosen as agency spokesperson, to be able to speak to larger policy implications. Steffes says if the bill becomes law, the DNR will develop administrative rules for a wolf hunt and engage its experts to help chart a course forward.