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Chippewa tribes oppose Wisconsin wolf hunt

Chippewa tribes in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan have asked the state Department of Natural Resources to prohibit the killing of wolves in the ceded territory of northern Wisconsin during a planned wolf hunt this fall.

Jim Zorn, executive director of the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, said the tribes believe the Wisconsin hunt is biologically reckless and would be culturally harmful to Chippewa Indians, for whom wolves are culturally important. The commission oversees the treaty hunting, fishing and gathering activities of 11 Chippewa bands, including six in Wisconsin.

“Some of the tribal reps have expressed it as, ‘How should we sanction the killing of our brother?’ ” Zorn said. “There’s a level of discomfort that makes it difficult to talk about in these terms of legalese and biology that we usually use.”

The tribes also oppose the wolf hunt because they believe the state’s population goal of 350 is too low and could result in the crash of the state’s wolf population, said Zorn, who advocates for a regional approach to wolf management. Officials estimate there are 850 wolves in Wisconsin…

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