A Mainstreet Radio special broadcast from the International Wolf Center in Ely. A discussion about wolves with Bill Route, of the International Wolf Center; Ron Refsnider, of US Fish and Wildlife Service; Mike Don Carlos, of DNR; and State Senator Gary Laidig, discuss wolves.
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(00:00:05) Good morning, and welcome to a special Main Street radio broadcast from the International Wolf Center in Ely. I'm Rachael Ray be this corner of Northeastern Minnesota is mostly Wilderness. Lots of lakes and trees and solitude. It's the natural habitat for the Wildlife will be discussing the gray wolf and the black bear these mostly shy elusive creatures are the target of an unprecedented wave of Interest research and in some cases controversy. Let's begin the first hour of our show focusing on the gray wolf also called the timber wolf 25 years ago. They were a species nearly hunted to extinction by humans. The only significant wolf population left in the 48 contiguous states was here in northeastern Minnesota where several hundred wolves remained the federal government stepped in and the gray wolf was among the first species to be officially considered endangered. A the gray wolf is back rebounding with a Vigor that has surprised even some of the experts Minnesota now has almost 2,500 gray wolves and the federal government plans to remove them from the protected list that process though took a sharp D tour this year when the Minnesota Legislature failed to pass a wolf management plan with me at the International Wolf Center in Ely is their resident wildlife biologist Bill Rowdy state. Senator. Gary lydick is still want a republican who co-authored the wolf management legislation and Mike Don Carlos a wildlife specialist from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Who's working on the wolf management plan joining us from our studio in Saint Paul is Ron refsnyder a biologist with the US fish and wildlife service who is drafting the proposal to remove the wolf from the federal protected list. Welcome gentlemen to Main Street. Our phone lines are also open for your calls and comments. You can reach us today at 1-800 507 5252 that number again 1-800-501-7737 announced earlier this month that the US fish and wildlife service is delaying a national proposal to take wolves off the federal endangered species list until at least October. Ron refsnyder why the delay well, we had drafted a (00:02:22) proposal based upon the Minnesota wolf management plan that the DNR had produced and released back in February. And since that plan wasn't approved by the legislature. It was difficult for us to to make a decision based upon that proposal alone. So what we're doing right now is is reassessing other Alternatives were looking at some other actions. We could take that that might be a little bit different than the original proposal and that's going to take us a couple months worth of time to go over those. Other Alternatives ended to develop an alternative proposal and that's what we're doing right now. (00:02:58) Once your proposal is made public possibly in October how many months then will you leave open for public comment? (00:03:06) I think we'll probably leave it open for about four months for most most proposals will go 60 days something like that. But this is going to be quite a bit more controversial than an average endangered species listing or D listing proposal. So we'll we'll give the public plenty of time to comment will have public meetings during that period of time and probably a number of public (00:03:24) hearings as well. Senator lighting what happened in the Minnesota Legislature. It seemed like by the time they came up with the consensus from the 33 members citizens Roundtable. That was the difficult part and people assumed that it would sail through the legislature because it had that broad base of support already the tough work at already been done and then it was killed in the legislature what (00:03:46) happened? It was not killed in the legislature. I think there was wounded in the legislature. Well, I think it's a difference between citizens involved in policy and politicians involved in policy. And when you have minnesotans involved in policy, they succeed when you bring politicians in you don't always succeed. Unfortunately the house leadership did not support the citizens Roundtable agreement the legislation which the department very thoughtfully put together was not given to an advocate the house leadership gave the legislation to the chair of the house agriculture committee. He who is off also an author on legislation which provided for hunting trapping and Predator control? So I think the house leadership gave the legislation to a non supporter of the Round Table agreement the Senate I think had a better opportunity. We had a number of hearings. This bill took a very interesting route. It went to the environment committee at went to an environment budget committee. It was referred back to the Senate egg committee it then went even to the Senate crime prevention committee back to the rules committee and onto the floor of the house where it was about two or three votes short of passing. And so I think the Senate is very close to adapting the citizens Roundtable agreement, which is the legislation of the department proposed. (00:05:15) Although now the news out this week is the Department of Natural Resources is coming up with the wolf management plan that could perhaps provide stricter population controls on the wolf. Then what was agreed upon by the citizens Roundtable Mike Don Carlos. What can you tell us about (00:05:30) that? Well, that's correct. The commissioner recently is asked a department staff to take a fresh look at the wolf management issue and we will be doing that later this summer and into the fall there haven't been any discussions yet. There is no alternative plan, but we're simply going to just relook at the issue and see where we are and hopefully make a good determination on how to proceed. (00:05:52) You spent months working with the citizens Round Table 33 people Farmers Hunters environmentalist, Native Americans Cattlemen animal rights Advocates. All the players were there. Some people said it consensus would never happen from that group and then it happened that surprised even you (00:06:13) yes, it surprised me. I would be one of those people who predicted it wouldn't it was really it was really quite surprising. But if you actually went through the process, I guess it was a little maybe less surprising. I think that the weight of the responsibility of deciding something, you know, eventually is what turned the group and turn the corner and I think we all realize that you know, if it can't happen here it's not going to happen and you didn't want a (00:06:40) hung jury, right? So you came out with the plan you presented it to the legislature and was it that the point you said? (00:06:48) It's finished. No, we worked with the legislature. Too long for him, right? We never expected that it would be finished. We expected that it probably would be modified by the legislature but we were hopeful that the modifications would be more subsume antic than substantial and that, you know, the core of the agreement would go through well enough that the round table would agree that the let you know that the final outcome was what they had agreed to and unfortunately that didn't happen. (00:07:18) Ron refsnyder your office your agency is working on a wolf management plan. Now the DNR is taking another look at a wolf management plan. Then the legislature's going to get it again are these groups kind of all working independently at this point well to some extent they (00:07:35) are the fish and wildlife service is a federal agency and and we don't feel that we have the authority to tell the DNR how wolves would be managed in Minnesota. That's an issue for the DNR and the citizens of the state to decide. So we're pretty much staying out of of the details of the wolf management plan for the state itself. We have a federal wolf recovery plan that's been in existence actually since 1978 and was revised in 92 and the states and federal agencies all cooperated in putting that plan together and in carrying it out, but that is a recovery plan. That's to get the wolf to about the point where it is today. That plan doesn't include and doesn't look forward into the future and say how will should be managed after Federal protections removed. That's that's up to the states. I think that Mike Dunn Carlos I think has to be commended publicly. It was early in 1995 or 96 that the Department of Natural Resources looked ahead toward the potential that the federal government would remove the timber wolf from the Federal Protection list. The Department of Natural Resources came to the legislature with a very thoughtful proposal to hold a series of Statewide Public meetings. I believe there were 12 Statewide Public hearings where citizens were told about the federal D listing process talk told about the population and taught in an opportunity to give the Department of Natural Resources their thoughts about State Management that then led to a population survey because we really need to know how many wolves are Minnesota before the federal government is going to allow it to be delisted the third part of the DNR plan was Citizens Roundtable. This was a group of 33 diverse minnesotans staff by biologists federal government state government and they work for over five months and on a Friday evening in Duluth after a final two-day hearing everybody came together in a very delicate balance wolf Advocates did not want to see the animal shot livestock one of the opportunity to protect their property in the delicate balance the deal that was struck is it wolf Advocates will allow livestock owners to kill wolves that were attacking their animals and the livestock groups agreed. There'd be no hunting and trapping that was the deal. There were a number of wolf Advocates that literally were crying Friday evening when that deal was struck. It was the wolf Advocates the came to the legislature and promoted this deal regrettably the farmer. Bureau at the Farm Bureau and the livestock Association after participating in the citizens Round Table then went to the legislature and decided they could get a better deal working with the House of Representatives. So unfortunately three or four groups that agreed to a compromise and agree to a consensus and pledged to support the round table turned their backs and went to the legislature. That's where the disruption occurred. (00:10:46) Our phone number today is one eight hundred five three 75252. If you have a question or a comment call us and join this conversation we go now to Aiken where Dale lueck from the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association is standing by good morning. Mr. Lueck. (00:11:01) Good morning would let we Minnesota state Cattlemen certainly like to thank public radio for hosting this program. It's a really helpful to ensure we get accurate information to all the citizens of Minnesota. And first I certainly cannot let Senator lighting's comment concerning the agriculture people. That he just made go unanswered. First of all, it's not true. We did not abandon the round table. Basically what Senator lighting did in the Senate was try to force Lock Stock and Barrel everything and that Roundtree table agreement down the legislators throats and what he forgets is that those senators in the Senate really truly represent people in Minnesota. They don't represent the round table. They represent the constituents and they have a duty and a responsibility to respond to their constituents not the round table. They took a lot of things a lot of good things out of the round table and adopted him and then they change some things and they added some things but for Senator lytic to submit that that because the Roundtable produced something Rest of the the elected representatives and the state of Minnesota now should fail to represent their constituents viewpoint on a whole lot of the issues is ridiculous. But anyway to get on the I've got a couple of questions one. I'd like to direct to to Mike Don Carlos and that is in view of Senator lytic and Senator. Chris has absolute abysmal failure to carry a majority of senators in the senate for their position and they caused tremendous Rancor amongst a lot of mental middle-of-the-road Senators because they were going to jam this down those people's throats like it or not. We'll the DNR next year reach out to moderate Senators like Senator Stumpf Center Dallas, Sam Senator Steve deal who have shown they've got a majority in the Senate right now and can produce a workable wolf. Bill the only reason we didn't get a wolf bill out of the Senate this year was standard Krantz and light shows to prohibit the Senators to even vote on the final version. That's the only reason and that lies directly with Senator Cranston Senator lytic. There's no one else respond. Well my son (00:13:38) Carlos a chance to respond to your question, your question was will the DNR work with the legislators for a new bill (00:13:45) in the answer is yes, certainly if the legislature asks us to we've always been willing to do that. But as I said earlier Dale, we've just recently been advised by the commissioner that he wants us to revisit this issue and we will and we're going to consider, you know, a whole range of options including just what you talked about is working with key legislators. Maybe I could quickly respond. Mr. Lueck. I would if I were you I would be the last person to call in on this program as you know, I've informed you and other Representatives that There's no need to talk to me about any further legislation because what you agree to one day will change the next I'd like to come to your cattle association annual meeting where you will explain to your members that you helped kill a legislative proposal that would allow your Association members to shoot and Destroy wolves attacking livestock to harass and drive off of your property by any stocking wills and that would continue Federal involvement in the removal of nuisance wolves. That's what you killed and what you have now. Mr. Lueck is the animal continues to enjoy Total Protection by the federal government. You killed a plan that provided to the agricultural Community all of the safeguards and tools they needed and by killing that you have continued Total Protection. So this summer when your members call you and say wolves are harassing. Destroying my livestock. Tell them that you killed the bill that would allow them to shoot that wool and by doing that they cannot do anything to protect their property. She ate your flattery Senator lydick what the facts are and the people of Minnesota need to watch what Senator lighting does not what he says because there's different as night and day. There are two people that laid that bill on the table and prevented the citizens elected representatives from voting on the bill that Senator Stumpf and the majority of the Senate amended the two people that laid that bill down a prohibited our representative form of government in Minnesota from working our Senator lydick and Senator Krantz, and I think we ought to move on and that's the fact you can go check the record. They are the ones responsible for no wolf build, and I'd like (00:16:10) they are going to move on this show. I just need to you live from the International Wolf Center. Our phone number is 1-800-543-8242 and Phone lines are full of people with questions and comments. We will go now to Hinckley where Janet is standing by. Good morning Janet. Good (00:16:25) morning. I want to just step back a minute. And I really have to differ with the accusation that the Cattlemen's or the livestock producers were the ones who stepped out a line away from the agreement first and to even say that we ever did step out is is incorrect a very crucial part of the Round Table agreement that was repeatedly brought up was that the livestock producers did not want to do anything that would interfere with the timely delisting of the Wolf And we had the promise of the wolf Advocates present at the round table that if we came to an agreement with them that they would allow delisting to occur on schedule within one month after we agreed to that Roundtable agreement the Minnesota wolf Alliance, which consisted of at least two people that were Advocates of the wolf at the Round Table. And two of two of the organizations that were present there announced that they were going to sue to stop the listing anyway, because of a different set of reasons than they had previously stated, but the point was is that they were going to their intention was to stop the listing no matter what but while we negotiated at the round table. They said if we agreed to no hunting and trapping then they would not interfere with the listing and they immediately turned around in October and walked out on the Roundtable agreement. So I think first of all, it's extremely wrong to accuse the livestock producers of being the ones who first reneged on this agreement. (00:18:11) Thank you for your comment. Janet we go to Longville. Now where Tom is standing by again. Our number one eight hundred five three 75252. Good morning. Tom your question, (00:18:20) please yes for Ron restaurant a ref Tom Myers the conservation Federation guy. I have heard a rumor and I can't remember where that the timber wolf recovery plan or the recovery team had met sometime this spring and forwarded recommendations to the service. I guess presumably in the form of a letter. Can you clarify this? (00:18:45) The recovery team has been meeting (00:18:47) periodically as events have unfolded in the the wolf scenario in Minnesota. (00:18:53) And after let me think I believe it was after the Minnesota DNR released (00:18:59) their wolf management plan. The recovery team did (00:19:03) meet and they provided us with a letter that basically said that that plan (00:19:08) if it would be approved and and enacted would result in a wolf population that would be viable in Minnesota for the foreseeable future and that that was basically the question we had presented them with would this plan do what the recovery plan the federal recovery plan required a Future Wolf management after Federal delisting. Our Federal Protection was removed and they they assured us that the the dnr's plan that was released in February would do that for the wolf population. Now, they I understand the team is also now working on a subsequent recommendation that we haven't received yet and that recommendation is basically What what they would recommend we do now since that plan has not been approved. (00:19:50) Thank you for your question your call we go now to Akin. Joanne is on the line. Good morning, Joanne. Joanna Main Street, (00:19:58) I am thank you. I'm just supporting Environmental Education as a way to get younger people to understand what these issues are about everybody and then in the different houses and the Senate's Converse on these issues our children don't the can't even connect that what they need to do is and I send my child to a Wolf Ridge Environmental Center last year and that was just great for her to learn about the Wolves and the all the different aspects of nature. So I think that starts there and all of us can argue as much as we want about these different issues. But until the people learn from really younger ages, I don't think that good decisions will be made so I guess that's my comment. Thank you (00:20:54) Phil Rowdy. You are the biologist here at the International Wolf centers that what you're all (00:20:58) about. Yes. That is what the International Center is all about trying to provide information to the public and it is very important that the public in all issues dealing with wild life becomes educated supports legislation and legislators. Who Who provide a good legislation for wildlife management support the DNR and others who are conducting Wildlife Management activities? And so that's exactly what we're all about trying to reach out to especially young people who are in need of information and we try to do that through magazines our website and all kinds of information that we provide here on (00:21:39) and your building is full of people learning. There are kids now in Wolf camp this morning. There was a group of Boy Scouts in the classroom yesterday and I see the classrooms full again this morning. So this is an ongoing process (00:21:50) here. Yes, we bring about 50,000 people a year through the center (00:21:54) here. We go now to Little Fork we have Mary on the phone line. Good morning, Mary. Welcome to Main Street. (00:22:02) Good morning, inject the repeated statements at the Roundtable represented the people of Minnesota. It certainly did not it did not represent me or anyone. I know it was a panel of special interest groups that were dominated by strict preservationists and animal rights as an advocate as always these group chose to become militant advocates for a species that affect agriculture because it gives them a an opportunity to regulate agriculture the results of that round table were proof of this almost all of the recommendations regulated Agriculture and strictly prohibited regulating the wolf. I for one do not want Round Table making decisions for me. I'd rather take my voted legislator that I voted for or won by a majority represent me. The round table did not rule by majority. It was a consensus thing. Now in reality the consensus was achieved by a to vote which means that the people did not support the content but that they wanted consensus. Well, I guess we'd all like to have the (00:23:15) Department of Natural Resources go the route of the citizens Roundtable. What were you hoping to achieve (00:23:20) their? Well as you and probably everybody involved in today's program knows we have long history in Minnesota of arguing arguing about wolf management and what it should look like and especially after Federal de listening and we've not been successful in a number of processes including the political process to date in resolving the issue and in a nutshell what the department wanted to do was to go right to the Risk groups in the citizens and get all of the viewpoints at the table and start developing the concepts of a plan rather than sort of assumed and you know, make our professional judgments and then turn that out in a prediction was that everybody would hate it, you know that we'd reach a stalemate. So we just wanted to start right with the public at the front end rather than the back yet. I'd like to make a couple of comments to marry about the consensus process and the round table. First of all, it definitely was comprised of interest groups, but we believe that the whole range of those interest groups represented all of the wolf interests that were out there. We strove hard to do that and we asked the round table to make additions and corrections to the group itself in order to accomplish that and I think the simple fact that nobody demonstrated against the process illustrates that everybody was inside and in the ruin participating. Secondly the consensus process was part of the power because if all the interests were there in every single interest had the opportunity to agree With or stop the process then you get away from this need to determine how many votes should one side have versus the other side. And that was the beauty of that process. It's true that in the you know on a 5 volt scale that most people voted to to for the final agreement. I should tell you that I voted it to on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources and not to belabor the point the to was the lowest vote that you could vote and agree, but I think in retrospect that was almost inevitable because of the divisiveness on this issue is so extreme, you know, it's virtually impossible to get a consensus agreement that everybody would really like and the point is that we did have a consensus agreement that everybody agreed they could live with you know, and and I think that was really really an important moment in the history of wolf debate in Minnesota and it was and finally I'll say it was always acknowledged that the legislature would be the final decision making Authority and that was clear throughout the round table process. This was just simply a method Try to provide the legislature guidance directly from the public on the (00:25:48) issue. You're listening to a special Main Street radio broadcast from the International Wolf Center in Ely. I'm Rachel riebe. We're talking about wolves. My guests are on refsnyder with the US fish and wildlife service Mike Don Carlos of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Bill Rowdy of the International Wolf Center and Minnesota State. Senator. Gary lighting mpr's Main Street radio coverage of rural issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening communities through grant-making leadership training and convening. We invite you to visit the Main Street website. You can go to MP r dot o-- r-- g-- we'll be back with more of Main Street after a look at news and weather. I'm Lorna Benson on the next all things considered as the bear population continues to rise. We explore the human fascination with the unpredictable (00:26:35) animals. They have five fingers and five toes and when they stand up there, you know, they're about our height and they look kind of like (00:26:44) That story plus all the day's news on the next All Things Considered weekdays at 3:00 on Minnesota Public Radio. KN o w FM 91.1 in the Twin Cities. With news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Greta Cunningham White House officials are denying that Wesley Clark is being forced out as NATO's top commander in Europe Clark is giving up his command next May that's two months early, press secretary. Joe Lockhart says any suggestion that the commander of the Kosovo air campaign is being punished would be ridiculously wrong Clark is being replaced by General Joseph Ralston. Currently Vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The Pentagon says ralston's moved to the European job will preserve his four-star rank. Lockhart says President Clinton has the highest regard for Clark. The Senate is debating a republican plan to cut taxes by almost eight hundred billion dollars over the next decade President Clinton promises to veto the Republican plan. If it reaches his desk in its present form some Democrats suggest a 500 billion dollar cut would be both politically and physically more responsible. But Clinton aide say he reject that one as well. The Republican plan was passed by the house last week on a largely party-line vote. It would give Americans their biggest Sprague in nearly two decades the temperatures are sizzling again across much of the nation today. And now at least 41 deaths are being blamed on the recent Heat Wave the central plains are expected to get the worst of it with temperatures forecast above 100 in some parts Health officials are urging people in hot spots to check on neighbors, especially the elderly in Regional news of thunder storm brought another half inch of rain to the Austin area last night pushing the city's rainfall total for July to more than nine and a quarter inches Heavy Rain a week ago prompted flood warnings for the city, but rivers and streams have since returned to normal levels and last night's rain fall did not cause additional problems. There is a heat advisory in effect for Southeastern Minnesota this afternoon through tomorrow. It will be very warm Statewide today with high temperatures near 80 5 in the north 295 in the South. There's also a chance of an afternoon thunderstorm Statewide checking current conditions around the region mostly sunny skies. St. Cloud report sunshine and 76. It's sunny in Rochester and 78. Sonny in Duluth and 74 and in the Twin Cities Sunshine a temperature of 79 degrees. That's a check on the latest news. I'm Greta Cunningham. Welcome back to our Main Street special live from the International Wolf Center in Ely. I'm Rachel rebe and our panel of wolf experts include state. Senator. Gary lighting Wolf Center biologist Bill Rowdy and Mike Don Carlos of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources who are all in Ely with me and Ron r f signer of the US fish and wildlife service who is joining us from our st. Paul Studio listeners. You can join our conversation by calling us at one eight hundred five hundred 75252 at this time of year. Elia quiet town of 4,000 people on the edge of the Boundary Waters canoe area becomes a major tourist destination. It seems like every other vehicle on the highway into town is wearing a canoe or to the grocery stores are full. The restaurants are crowded and aleeah's humming many of the people passing through Ali stop here at the six-year-old International Wolf Center and check out the exhibits attend lectures and watch videos about wolves. But the main attraction here is the three resident wolves. Here at the Wolf Center a wall of Windows in front of us overlooks the wolf yard. Our Main Street reporter life anger is outside in front of the enclosure. Good morning life. (00:30:13) Hi Rachel. I'm standing at the edge of the wolf and closure. It's basically a small clearing dotted with a few Boulders and and some tall weeds and backed by a Grove of Aspen and birchen and white pine and inside as you mentioned are three wolves gray wolves Timberwolves, you might recall the press that these animals got when they were brought in as pups six years ago. They were cute and they were named Lucas and Lakota and Mackenzie. They looked like stuffed animals on a store shelf and now cute as I'm watching him here eating some some fresh beaver tail is not an adjective that I would choose their tall and ranging and the lope and they leave footprints that would make ranchers nervous and they have the famous baleful Blair and standing here with me is Andrea. Lauric Strauss who is the education Nader here at the Wolf Center and Andrea. These animals certainly look wild are they wild (00:31:11) certainly their wild as the quota puts her nose to the fence. It might not it might be hard to imagine that they are wild. However, they are not pets. They're not domesticated. These animals would not know how to handle themselves in a human environment are they wild though, they live in an enclosure. They get food prepared for them. So each one of us has a definition of wild but their nature is still very much that of the wild they could not be trained to you know, stay off the couch. They could not be trained to come when called they are not trainable. They are very much their own creatures and that's what we consider wild (00:31:45) the enclosures built right next to the auditorium as Rachel mentioned so visitors can watch them through the glass. So how much is that like seeing wolves in the (00:31:54) wild? Well, we have them in a natural setting and this is the only chance most people will have to actually see a wolf and so this is good enough for most people and we do also try to conduct programs that include travels out into the Wilderness. But this is these are guys are the stars Lucas Lakota and Mackenzie. These are why people come this is what they want to see when they're here and sometimes they're really disappointed when the Wolves aren't out. So (00:32:18) how do you use these wolves? These three wolves particularly in your (00:32:21) programs. We consider these wolves to be ambassadors for their kind that are in the wild as well. They represent their species in that their physical features are identical their behavior is identical their circumstances as I mentioned our smidge different but because they are so similar when Lakota stands on that rock like she is right. Now people can see what those eyes look like. They can see how big those feet are what the fur looks like because these wolves are here people get a real sense for what this animal is really like, (00:32:49) when do you feed them? What do you feed them? How much do you (00:32:52) feed? We try to keep their lives As Natural as What they'd have in the wild as possible and so wolves in the wild don't eat all that often we feed these guys once a week. What do you feed them roadkill deer again? Trying to keep it natural (00:33:05) should be plenty of that around you mentioned. The Wolves as ambassadors does to seeing these animals have an effect on visitors perceptions of wolves. Do you (00:33:14) think certainly people are often surprised by what they see? They expect the Wolves to be big and furry and at this time of year there, they look a little skinnier than what you might expect people go away feeling surprised that the will spend a lot of time sleeping. For example, they expect wolves to be hunting are pacing or doing something dramatic all the time. And really these are wild animals. (00:33:34) Are you changing attitudes about wolves or are you already speaking to a house full of wolf lovers (00:33:40) every day? No matter who our audience is. We hope were challenging assumptions. We want people to understand the scientific facts. We want people to understand the things we know objectively through documented information. We want people to understand this animal for what it really is not All of the human constructs that surround the animal both positive and negative. What happens to the pack when these get (00:34:02) old? They're six years old. Now, you mentioned to me earlier that in the wild. That's pretty much a wolf (00:34:08) lifespan a wolf in the wild might live as long as aiders years wolves have been known to live 13 years in the wild, but these wolves are getting to be about middle-aged. We think we already have plans underway for introducing some new puppies into our situation next summer. We may eventually be able to introduce them to the pack itself. But in any case puppies will be an important educational piece for us. We hope next summer. So watch for that. How do you expect that to go? Well, we're planning for it. Now, we expect to acquire them from a reputable breeder. Its course illegal to take wolves from the wild. We will raise the puppies so that they're comfortable around humans. And then by the time there may be five months old, we will introduce the Wolves to each other the adults and the pups see how they how well they get along and if the adults will accept the pups into their social (00:34:55) structure, I think you said the enclosure is about an acre and a quarter. Is that big enough for five wolves? (00:35:01) We think so. We think this enclosure could support perhaps six wolves (00:35:05) what happens if these if these wolves which as you say are wild get out, (00:35:11) we don't expect that they'll get out. We're very careful about that. However, if some strange things should occur we think they wouldn't survive very well in a Wilderness setting with truly without any human support. They've never had to hunt for themselves. They probably wouldn't be able to find a place to live. There are wild wolves just about everywhere in this area right now. So they might not find a territory (00:35:32) this the wolf that's right here is which (00:35:34) one this is Lakota and you can tell it's Lakota because on her nose. She has a black colic of hair that's distinct from the other wolves. We have Lucas is distinguishable because he doesn't have that cowlick. He also has a scar on the inside of his right leg Mackenzie is easy to tell she's the darkish wolf blackish almost in on days like this. She's very very warm. So she's less likely to be seen (00:35:55) very rangy and yet they weigh around a hundred pounds. (00:35:58) These wolves do wolves in the wild may not wake why This much because these wolves have a pretty comfortable life. They don't get as much exercise as a wolf out in outside the enclosure might get and they have certainly have plenty of food. (00:36:10) The wolf is mostly identified with its howl and understanding that these animals are not programmable. We have a wolf Center staffer stationed behind the building and he is going to howl and we're going to see if we get a response. (00:36:26) All right. Now again, as we mentioned wolves are not programmable, but we'd sometimes like to encourage them with stimulus. We have Lakota whose ears are moving back and forth checking out that noise or ears are in opposite directions right now. They're moving the muscles are very attentive on a wolf's ears. She's definitely noticing. I noticed Lucas in the enclosure earlier to typically when we howl like this. They'll pick their heads up look around. They're very curious. This is definitely a stimulus that is Keen for them or they actually fooled. Oh, no, we don't have any illusions that they think werewolf. These wolves will even respond to the fire sirens that come past but a clearly it's a very strong stimulus for them. (00:37:17) Checking out the microphone, but not apparently willing to Hell. Thank you, Andrea. I appreciate the time and going after the beaver tail here. Rachel that's about the best we're going to be able to do back to (00:37:35) you. Thank you. Laughs I'm Rachel rebe. We're live at the International Wolf Center in Ely. We are talking about wolves with our panel of guests. Our phone lines are open you can call in with your questions or comments one eight hundred five three. 75252 Bill Rowdy laughs was asking Andre about the change of attitudes towards wolves there actually was a survey done in 1972 about how people feel about wolves. And another survey was done this year. What did you come up with our people changing the way they look at wolves. (00:38:09) Well, actually that survey was done in 1985 and now again in 1999 and dr. Steven Keller from Yale University conducted the research on both op both times. And so we initiated the study this this year trying to get a good handle on where the public was. And there isn't a great shift. I mean people are greatly divided on the wolf issue and I think if anything that's what can be said about wolf management and the previous caller Mary stated that the public had their opinions and that they needed to be listened to Guided by the legislature and from the colored survey. We really found out that things haven't changed that much and that the public is so divided on so many issues. It's really difficult to get people together on some of these issues. Although there are some that fall out, you know, the public is for example slightly against public Harvest except for farmers who encourage public harvest in terms of range. It's highly variable people in some cases South and North residents are about split on whether or not wolves should be allowed to range. Cross the state whereas farmers are opposed to having wolves range across the state. However, the South people from the southern part of the state were split on whether wolves should be restricted only to the north northern residents were opposed to having wolves restricted simply to the north probably because they want to say well if everybody lay down there likes wolves so much why maybe they should have some (00:39:53) and we still see about half the people support hunting wolves and about half of the people opposed hunting wolves 53 47 percent. (00:40:02) Yeah public harvest the slight greatest slightly greater than 60% of Southern residents were against a public Harvest and slightly more than 50% of Northern residents were against a public Harvest. However greater than 60 percent of farmers were for upon the car (00:40:20) first Mike is is something that the DNR looks at. Should they have a wolf hunting season or I know the round table was For at least five years hold off on instituting Wolf hunting in Minnesota. (00:40:32) Well, I think that public Harvest whether it's a trapping or hunting is probably the single most divisive issue and wolf management the way the Roundtable addressed it was to Simply defer it and that may sound like the easy way out but I think maybe there's some logic in that by deferring resolving the issue of public Harvest it allows us to get our feet wet. So to speak with State Management after more than 20 years of federal (00:40:58) management the wolf off the list then take a picture (00:41:00) what happened? That's right. And so the round table, you know didn't take a position on public Harvest. It just simply said that we agreed that we would defer consideration for five (00:41:08) years. Why would somebody hunt a wolf? He certainly people don't eat wolf do they? (00:41:14) Well, I've never heard of it just for the sport of it for the for the for the sport of it for the trophy value there, you know formerly was a commercial commercial value in wolves and wolf fur. Well, I would just like to say that there was one clear thing that came out of the Keller at survey and that is that there was a strong majority of minnesotans who wanted to see the wolf delisted and put back into the State Management hands and that they had a real good confidence in Minnesota DNR in managing the species. So that was a clear indication that the public wanted this thing to move ahead be delisted and put back in the state government (00:41:52) hands. Now if we could only agree on how to do that our phone number one eight hundred five three 75252. We have a caller on the line from Williams. Good morning. (00:42:03) Well, I'd like to say is I have worked with agriculture work with farmers and livestock owners. Mike 20 years. I raised sheep myself where the were Kyle says well as wolves and coy dogs become familiar with what they're going to do and I my management practices. reflect that I guess I see a lot of livestock owners. Expecting to use public lands as well as their own land. It's sort of a mish-mosh management. They're not watching their livestock not taking the precautions that they should and I see this firsthand farmers get real. And I can't say I blame them. I mean the way the market is right now the price of beef and everything else going down but still don't blame it on nature. I guess you can say (00:43:13) I had a loss from wolves in sheep. Have you ever lost a sheep (00:43:18) to avoid never lost sheep from wolves or coyotes? Because I guess I'm watchful and I don't see a lot of that from other livestock owners. They sort of what the livestock out there and all she might be pregnant. But you know, just let her out there. Well, that's not the thing to do. You know, if you got something if you got an animal is pregnant Bring It On in a little closer, you know, don't just stick it out there in the back 400 expecting nothing to happen. It's (00:43:55) Mike Don Carlos, how do you feel about that? Do you feel that farmers livestock owners can learn ways of managing their herd. So perhaps to minimize wolf involvement. (00:44:06) Well speaking now from a Minnesota perspective, and I would say to a very limited extent in Minnesota is the caller states. It is true that livestock husbandry can contribute to Wolf depredation, but it is also true and perhaps more significant that you can do everything right raising Livestock in Minnesota and still be vulnerable to Wolf depredation some of the comments about bringing animals in for cabin in that just simply aren't feasible in some in some of the livestock operations as they're commonly practiced in Minnesota. So it's easy to fix the obvious problems like, you know, avoiding carcass dumps that are track wolves and those kinds of things, but it's really hard to absolutely prevent depredation. It's going to occur and it needs to be addressed to the satisfaction of livestock producers (00:44:50) we go now to Garrison where Ralph is standing by good morning Ralph. Welcome to Main Street. (00:44:55) Low near me. Yes. I can. I want to cell phone. Excuse me. I was one of the wolf Roundtable delegates and I've listened to part of this show and I've caught flak from a number of organizations and just individual citizens. I take somewhat of a defensive posture because I feel that the round table even though it was loaded with emotions did the best we could with the tools we had and I was listening to I believe a color called Janet talking about how it may have been biased against agriculture. I was the one of the individuals that push for the legislation to be slanted toward little allowing a farmer to actively shoot a wolf deprecating cattle actually caught in the act if I think of the people were to read the minutes and understand all that went on there was more than what most people realize and I want to applaud Mike and Bill Rowdy and the whole gang up there. I think they know who I am calling here. I think we all did a good job and we're doing the best we can for this thing. It's just too bad that politics plays such a big part in the management of this creature and I guess that's all I have to say. Thank you. (00:46:08) Thank you for your comment Ralph. Dennis is in Minneapolis. Good morning, Dennis. Welcome to Main Street. Dennis go ahead with your question or your comment you're on the (00:46:17) air. Yes. Thank you for taking my call. I wanted to just address this issue of hunting. I think it's a specious issue as it regards the wolf particularly in Minnesota, when we debate whether the animals should be hunted or not be hunted because in point of fact in the DNR noses well and most people who know about wolves and know it the wolf cannot be hunted effectively in Minnesota, perhaps in most places actually of the world. And so the argument of whether people should go out and be allowed to hunt or not be allowed. Really I think the clear issue that should be laid out is what should be the boundaries for the wolf and how will those wolf boundaries be established because the primary factual imbalance it seems to me among most people about wolves particularly in Minnesota is that they do not understand that Wolfman. Management wolf population control is the key issue here in that hunting is not an effective means net effect of component of wolf management population control. The discussion to me about hunting is a hot-button its kind of easily visited by both sides. What a difficult undertaking for anybody to go out and actually find a wolf and shoot it. And I think if there were such a season that wouldn't last very long because it wouldn't be a satisfying means of hunting for most anybody. Do you agree with that - yes, I do hunting and trapping and public taking her all terms that are used to describe public Harvest but I would agree that hunting without the use of aircraft is not likely to be effective in population control. I think the trapping programs depending on how they are managed could produce population control at least at the local (00:48:13) level. Mpr's Main. Radio coverage of rural issues is supported by the blandin foundation committed to strengthening communities through grant-making leadership training and convening. We are halfway through this Main Street broadcast from the International Wolf Center in Ely. My guests have been Mike Don Carlos with a DNR Ron refsnyder with the US fish and wildlife service state senator, Gary lighting and Bill Rowdy of the International Wolf Center. I'm Rachel riebe next hour. We're turning our attention to the black bear. Although they haven't been as controversial as wolves black bears have received their share of attention minnesotans love their bears. But is there room in this state for twenty seven thousand of them join us next hour and our panel of bear expert says this Main Street special from Ely continues after the news.