On Jan. 17, Representative Nick Milroy (D-South Range) caved to animal special interest groups in Madison and voted not to recommend passage of a bill which would pressure Congress to delist the wolf from the Endangered Species List. Rep. Milroy has stood firm in his stance even though the species' population in Wisconsin is nearly triple the recommended size. His vote against the recommendation, as part of the Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage, showed northern Wisconsin that their representative has chosen to vote the party line over doing what is right for the people. When it comes to issues in northwestern Wisconsin, I am never afraid to vote contrary to my party because the people's voice comes first.
Milroy's 73rd Assembly District, according to DNR wolf monitoring, is a major hotbed of wolf predation within the state. Douglas County, nearly all of which Milroy represents, has the largest number of confirmed wolf predations of any county in the state, accounting for over 20 percent of them! How can a representative of those most affected by wolf depredation not support legislation aimed solely at forcing Congress to take action to return wolf management back to Wisconsin?
Admittedly, the bill takes drastic measures to achieve this goal. There is a broad, bipartisan consensus that the wolf should be delisted. Wisconsin's congressional delegation has promised us that action will be taken to alleviate the population growth of the gray wolf in our state, but to no avail. Too long have we waited patiently for the wolf to be delisted, and Representative Milroy should know this all too well. That is why drastic measures are needed.
With the exception of Milroy, every single representative from northern Wisconsin voted to recommend passage. Milroy's Democratic colleagues on the committee have an excuse for the way they voted: they are from southeastern Wisconsin, have no interaction with wolves, and can therefore be easily persuaded by those in Madison who don't know the extent of our situation. They don't understand our needs and problems up north. However, to stand in the thick of wolf depredation territory and not be willing to take a hardline approach following promise after broken promise from Congress — well that is just irresponsible. I hope that the good folks in the 73rd Assembly District hold Rep. Milroy accountable for his inaction and lack of leadership on this extremely important issue.