DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Congressional budget cuts could jeopardize a federal program that controls wolves that attack or threaten farm animals or pets in Minnesota.

The budget agreement reached Friday effectively eliminates money for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program.

The director for the program in Minnesota, Gary Nohrenberg, sent an email to state Department of Natural Resources and state Department of Agriculture officials saying that the program’s operations are “in effect on a day-by-day basis.”

But the program has been ordered by its regional director to keep investigating wolf complaints and killing problem wolves while alternative sources of money are sought, said John Hart, district supervisor in Grand Rapids, Minn., for USDA’s Wildlife Services.

“We’ve been struggling to keep our heads above water, and this is kind of the final straw,” Hart said. “Beginning Oct. 1, with the new federal fiscal year, there will be no USDA money for wolf control.”

The Wildlife Services Program investigates wolf complaints and lethally traps or shoots wolves that have attacked livestock or pets. In 2010, Hart’s office investigated 272 wolf complaints and trapped or shot 192 wolves.

State DNR officials told the Duluth News Tribune they’ll seek the help of the Minnesota congressional delegation in finding money to continue wolf-depredation control.

“That’s of great concern to us,” DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said. “We take this very seriously. We believe it’s high time for the federal government to delist the wolf in Minnesota. We need to get the wolf under state control, so we can better manage the population.”

Wolves in Minnesota are classified as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act. State officials have no authority to manage wolves, although delisting of the wolf in Minnesota is tentatively expected to occur by the end of this year.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
  1. Pete says:

    There’s an easy fix for this.

    1. Remove wolves from Endangered Species List
    2. Set a quota of wolves to be taken legally by hunters every year (if there are 6,000 wolves in MN, maybe put 300 (5%) on quota).
    3. Anyone can buy a license, but the season closes two days after the quota is met.
    4. Sell licenses to to hunters for $20/license. Every guy in MN who hunts in wolf country will by one. Conservatively figure you’ll sell 50,000.
    5. Collect $1,000,000.00 to be used by the MN DNR (not the feds) for wolf management and negate the need to pay the USDA to control wolves in MN.
    6. Instead of being a cost to our state/country, wolf management becomes self-sustaining.

    1. Sam says:

      This won’t necessarily get the wolves that are posing the problem.
      As far as removing the wolves from the Endangered Species list, they are endangered. Their numbers are small enough that they barely have a sustainable genetic pool (and we have had to help them with zoo-based breeding programs). Removing a species just because doing so would be convenient is not the point of the list.

      1. TF says:

        Wolfs are not endangered, they are just federally protected which is very different. Stop protecting them and allow farmers to shoot as necessary just like they are already doing with coyotes and stray dogs.

      2. Have you lost your mind? Have you been anywhere north of grand rapids? Go up north and walk some public land then come back here and talk! My cabin is an hour south of g.r. and there are wolfs running around there! One day driving back there was one just north of jenkins. He or she was looking both ways for traffic as it waited to cross 371. Now tell me again about the wolfs needing to be bread at the zoo to keep them alive? Lol! That one that I saw musta been one of those because a wilf wolf would never look for cars right!? You are so lost its not even cool!

        Pete…..dead on my friend! I would like to add that famers and pet owners that suffer attacks also need to be able to shoot on the spot. All kills must be recored asap! These is not a shortage of wolfs anywhere in minnesota! What there is a shortage of is people that give a dang and people with brain!

        So…….a wolf comes and tears your calfs to hell and you loose 3 of them. Dnr comes out, yeah you lost 3. Here is a check for you problmes. $400 spent on the check. Dnr coming out and investigating the claim? On average $225 per call. What does it cost us when farmers have the wright to shoot spot on sight? Nothing! We gain from that! Like pete said, a season is very badly needed and the puts money in our pockets. Not takes it out! Federal government is so ash backwards on this rule it makes me sic. And just think, over half of the laws are set up this way. Its a loosing system. To bad we are the losers.

    2. Bob Ryan says:

      An answer for everyuthing right Pete. #4 and 5 are liberal anti-hunting taxes. \

  2. Sam I am says:

    Soluton: Shoot them.

  3. MN wolf management guy says:

    Help is coming!!

    A significant wolf management victory was achieved this past weekend and WILL BE SIGNED INTO LAW TODAY IN THE U.S. CONGRESS. This law officially delists wolves in both Idaho and Montana and also partially delists wolves in OR, WA and UT.

    There are currently bills in both the U.S. House: (H. 509) and Senate: (S. 249) to remove the wolf from the Endangered Species list with protection and turn their control over to individual State Game and Fish Departments to MANAGE as these experts see fit.

    Pete’s solution for Minnesota is right on but we would need to set a quota more like 1,000 for the first season. Wolf populations can increase by as much as 24% in a year!

    Please go to this website: http://www.biggameforever.org to learn more about wolves, the problems they are causing, and to sign a national petition to turn wolf management over to state game and fish personnel in ALL states.

  4. Like It Is says:

    Wolves were there first. We rightfully helped them to come back after we humans nearly shot them into extinction. Now either learn to live with them or don’t live there. Problem solved.

    1. dan says:

      So if we helped the wolf population grow in your backyard of Eden Prairie, because “they were there first” and they were eating up your Yorkie like a scooby snack you wouldnt go screaming to Amy Klobuchar?

      1. Like It Is says:

        Sorry, don’t live there. And I don’t have a Yorkie either. But I do have plenty of deer, rabbits, moles and other creatures nearby that badly need to have their populations held in better check. You know, that basic predator-prey relationship stuff that we humans have nicely unbalanced through our self-serving polices.

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