Six Native American tribes in Wisconsin are suing the state over their yearly controlled hunt of the gray wolf, which occurs every November to keep the population of the animal in control.
The Chipewa tribes got together and filed the lawsuit Tuesday, claiming the gray wolf is ‘sacred’ to their people and asserted that their land treaty currently in place, which grants them half the wolf quota, is being violated. The newest tribal lawsuit comes only a mere three weeks after a coalition of wildlife advocacy groups sued to stop Wisconsin’s wolf hunt this fall and void a state law mandating any and all annual hunts, making the argument that ‘the statutes don’t give wildlife managers any leeway to consider population estimates’, (Associated Press).
A large reason for the big outrage is that hunters killed past their allotted limit this past year. Wisconsin’s state Department of Natural Resources set the quota at 119, however the hunters killed nearly 218 wolves in just four days, which resulted in an immediate and early end to the season.
Conservationists consequently flooded the department with requests to cancel this fall’s hunt out of worries that it could devastate the wolf population. Biologists within the state’s agency recommended setting the fall quota at 130. Despite this, the agency’s board last month set the kill limit at 300.
The Native tribes have claimed their half, but since they won’t hunt wolves, the working quota for state-licensed hunters would be 150, (Associated Press). The lawsuit alleges the board’s decision to set the quota at 300 was a deliberate move to nullify the tribes’ share and was not based on science. “In our treaty rights, we’re supposed to share with the state 50-50 in our resources and we’re feeling that we’re not getting our due diligence because of the slaughter of wolves in February.”
ARTICLE: ETHAN FINN
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: KTVB.COM
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