Gray Wolf Advocates Want Natural Resources Chair Gone

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Gray wolf. Photo by Derek Bakken / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Gray wolf. Photo by Derek Bakken / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Two groups that are suing to reconstruct national protections for grey wolves sent a letter this week calling connected Wisconsin’s lawyer wide to region the caput of the state’s Natural Resources Board before its August meeting. The missive comes arsenic the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is expected to urge a wolf harvest quota for the board’s support up of the autumn wolf hunt.

The Humane Society of The United States and Center for Biological Diversity are accusing the board’s seat Dr. Fred Prehn, of unlawfully remaining successful bureau past the extremity of his six-year term. Prehn, a Wausau dentist, decided to stay connected the board until the authorities Senate confirms appointments made this outpouring by Gov. Tony Evers.

Nick Arrivo, an lawyer for the Humane Society, contends Wisconsin instrumentality is “crystal clear” in its explanation of committee members’ terms.

“It specifies that presumption are for a six-year play ending connected May 1, and does not accidental thing astir a lawful close to clasp implicit beyond that time,” said Arrivo.

The groups reason Prehn’s continued beingness undermines the modulation of powerfulness and harms those “concerned with the sound, responsible and accountable absorption of earthy resources held successful the nationalist trust.”

The Center for Biological Diversity said the committee needs caller enactment aft the state’s wolf hunt successful February, during which state-licensed hunters blew past their quota of 119 wolves. Hunters killed 218 wolves successful little than 72 hours.

In a statement, Collette Adkins, the center’s carnivore conservation director, said the committee needs a person “who really cares astir the state’s wolves and different wildlife.”

“Prehn should judge that his word is implicit and yet measurement down earlier helium does immoderate much damage,” wrote Adkins.

The missive is among the latest calls for Prehn to measurement down successful a contentious statement implicit the board’s equilibrium of powerfulness arsenic members clasp the last accidental implicit earthy resources policy, including harvest levels for the autumn wolf hunt.

Evers, a Democrat, announced the appointments of Ashland teacher Sandy Naas and Milwaukee existent property developer Sharon Adams connected April 30 “to capable vacancies created by the expiring terms” of Prehn and Board Secretary Julie Anderson. Only Anderson stepped down. Both were appointed nether erstwhile Republican Gov. Scott Walker. As it stands, a bulk of the existent committee is made up of Walker appointees.

Prehn has insisted his determination to stay was not governmental and questioned the motivations down the Humane Society’s letter.

“There’s nary crushed the Humane Society would constitute specified a missive unless they were desperately opposed to maine being contiguous successful the August gathering wherever the NRB sets quota for the wolf hunt for this fall,” said Prehn. “There’s a wide correlation betwixt the two.”

Prehn has said the committee has a work to negociate the wolf colonisation successful enactment with authorities instrumentality that requires a wolf hunt and the DNR’s existing wolf absorption plan, which acceptable a extremity of 350 wolves. Critics accidental that program is vastly outdated. The existent program was archetypal written successful 1999 and past updated successful 2007. A DNR advisory committee meets Thursday to statesman the process of revising the wolf absorption plan.

Prehn argued the Wisconsin Supreme Court has already weighed successful connected bureau holders who stay past the extremity of their terms. A 1964 ruling found there’s nary vacancy successful an bureau if the idiosyncratic successful an appointed presumption “holds over” until a caller appointee is confirmed. That means Naas can’t workout the powers of the presumption until the Senate confirms her. The politician besides can’t region a holdover successful an appointed presumption without conscionable cause.

Prehn said it’s up to the courts if they privation to revisit that decision.

The Humane Society’s Arrivo argues the 1964 Supreme Court determination doesn’t use to Prehn due to the fact that it referred to recess appointments made by the politician and predates the instrumentality that created the committee arsenic it exists today.

The state’s largest concern lobby Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce said successful a statement Wednesday that Prehn should stay connected the committee until the Senate confirms Evers’ nominations.

“What Dr. Prehn is doing by remaining connected the committee and continuing his nationalist work is perfectly legal,” said Scott Manley, WMC’s enforcement vice president of authorities relations. “It’s thing that’s been done successful the past.”

Two erstwhile committee members stayed past the expiration of their presumption successful the aboriginal 2000s: Steve Willett and Jim Tiefenthaler Jr. But, it’s antithetic for members to stay connected the committee past their terms.

Manley said Prehn has been an autarkic dependable who hasn’t served arsenic a rubber stamp for the DNR’s argumentation proposals. WMC has been an outspoken professional of the agency’s policies. The concern radical has argued against the DNR successful tribunal implicit its authorization to modulate high-capacity wells, large-scale farms and biology cleanups related to PFAS contamination.

According to the board’s liaison, Prehn’s determination to enactment connected the committee has drawn astir 742 emails and comments, though it’s unclear however galore enactment oregon reason his decision.

Prehn said helium has received decease threats astir his determination to stay and hoped radical would stay civilian arsenic the process plays out.

Democratic authorities Sens. Bob Wirch and Melissa Agard, who service connected the Senate’s earthy resources committee, joined calls for Prehn to measurement down this week. In a letter Tuesday, they urged their Republican colleagues to notation the information of Naas to committee for a vote. Evers’ nominations were referred to the Senate’s enactment committee on Wednesday.

Prehn said helium hasn’t spoken with lawmakers oregon Attorney General Josh Kaul, adding whether helium remains connected the committee is up to them. If Kaul decides to region him, Prehn said helium would reappraisal his options astatine that time.

Manley said the lawyer wide would beryllium “ill-advised” to region Prehn. He wouldn’t accidental whether WMC would situation specified a determination but said it’s apt idiosyncratic would.

A DOJ spokeswoman said they’re reviewing the Humane Society’s letter.

Groups Want National Resources Board Chair Removed Ahead Of Key Vote On Fall Wolf Hunt was primitively published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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