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LCO Conservation Addresses Delisting of the Gray Wolf

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the official wolf season will begin Nov. 6, 2021. This announcement is a result of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services decision to delist gray wolves from the federal list of endangered species on Jan. 4, 2021 returning management authority to the lower 48 states and tribes.

This announcement has generated many inquiries from LCO Tribal Members seeking information on the LCO Bands intent to participate or individual member’s right to hunt wolves on and off reservation.

In response to on-reservation inquiries, members are advised that wolf hunting within the exterior boundaries is strictly prohibited. The Lac Courte Oreilles Bands Tribal VI Conservation Codes of Law, §1.329 Protected Species states, "No member or non­member shall hunt wolves”, except those species whose harvest is specifically regulated pursuant to the provisions of the ordinance.

In anticipation of off reservation wolf hunting inquiries, Voight Task Force representatives of the Great Lakes Fish and Wildlife Commission are unified in opposition to the delisting of wolves and adamantly opposed to a wolf hunt within the ceded territories. The following excerpt accentuates the traditional beliefs of the Anishinaabeg and the reason wolves have been traditionally protected by our people;

''We see the wolf as a predictor of our future. And what happens to wolf happens toAnishinaabe ...whether other people see it or not, the same will happen to them...''

-Joe Rose, Bad River Ojibwe Elder

Ma'iingan (wolf) became our brother and companion in the Anishinaabeg creation story, having endured similar atrocities as the Anishinaabeg (loss of lands, villainized and denigrated by society for centuries). Honoring the continued protection of the wolf is honoring our ancestors.

Ultimately, the decision to allow future wolf hunting on or off reservation rests upon the Tribal Governing Board.


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