NWC Great Lakes Director Demands An Honest Debate
September 3, 2013
Wolfwatcher’s Great Lakes Director, Nancy Warren, has been actively engaged in Michigan’s ongoing debate about the upcoming wolf hunt season. When inconsistencies have been expressed in the public statements of government representatives, appointed members of the state’s NRC and those employed by the DNR, Nancy has been keeping the dialog honest.
In June, Nancy debated the issues regarding the Michigan wolf hunt with State Senator Tom Casperson, the architect of the wolf hunt law (PA 21) on live radio at WUPY 101.1 FM in Ontonagon, Michigan. Subsequent to the radio discussion, Nancy successfully clarified the record re: statements made by the Senator about Dr. Rolf Peterson’s testimony.
In late August, Nancy work tirelessly with our coalition partners at Keep Michigan Wolves Protected to shed light on the real motivation that drives the Michigan hunt. That included a FOIA request, an official denial of this public information request, and then a final appeal for which she was finally granted the facts. In addition to horrific details of animal cruelty – some of which at taxpayer expense – one farmer, Mr. Koski, received a substantial amount of all the compensation money given to his area. The total amount paid between 2010 and 2013 was $40,000. Koski received almost $33,000 of that! And, that’s what we all paid for, folks. Based on the trail of information that Nancy revealed, we wonder if this the kind of ‘management’ that Senator Tom Casperson and Michigan’s DNR supports and protects? Was Koski crying wolf, and pocketing the cash?
And now in early September, Nancy sets the record straight again. The Michigan DNR, in their wolf hunting regulations claimed that the primary objective in Wolf Management Unit B is to reduce the number of chronic livestock depredations. The reason given resonates well with the general public. DNR stated that since 2010, DNR recorded 80 livestock depredation events on 11 farms. They also stated, “Removing wolves through public harvest may decrease the number of livestock depredations.”
Last month, Nancy obtained information from the Michigan DNR, under the Freedom of Information Act which showed that 73% of all livestock depredation events, in WMU B, were at one farm with poor animal husbandry practices (Koski farm). Within Unit B there were 11 other farms that had depredations over the past 3 years, however, seven of those farms had only one depredation. Two farms had two depredations (none in 2012 or 2013); two farms had multiple depredations (one of those farms had none in 2012 or 2013).
The report we received in July showed no depredation events in Unit B this year and this was reported in the press, however, DNR challenged the statement saying there have been 4 depredations within Unit B this year. Another FOIA request was submitted and today, 9/4, a response was received.
The new report reflects that Koski claimed to have 3 missing calves (in two separate events), but DNR was not able to verify that wolves were responsible and he was denied compensation for the missing calves. On 7/25, it was verified that one chronic farm did again lose a calf; however, he also claimed to have a missing calf which was not verified. On 8/9/2013, a producer had his second verified loss since 2010. There were no livestock depredation events in WMU A during 2011 or 2013 and only one Guinea Hen in 2010 and one calf in 2012.
In summary, just two farms within Unit B had one verified loss each in 2013.
It is apparent the reasons given to support the Michigan wolf hunt are greatly exaggerated.