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DNR Secretary Stepp responds to Humane Society's grey wolf lawsuit

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The head of Wisconsin’s DNR says it would be in nobody’s best interest to return grey wolves to the federal endangered species list.

That’s how Cathy Stepp responded Tuesday, after the U.S. Humane Society and several other animal rights’ groups filed a federal lawsuit to restore federal protections for Upper Midwest wolves.

The Humane Society took strong exception to the wolf hunts which occurred last year in Wisconsin and Minnesota, saying they threatened to make the species extinct. That was after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service removed the endangered status for the region’s grey wolves, saying the populations had grown enough to let states manage their herds as they saw fit.

The wildlife agency said Tuesday it was only following the law. That agency and the Interior Department are defendants in the new lawsuit.

Stepp said Wisconsin must keep its authority to employ tools like wolf hunts, when populations peak like they’ve done over the past year. In Stepp’s words, “Increased conflicts with domestic livestock and pets benefit neither humans nor wolves.”

Wolf attacks on livestock and farm crops are why the state adopted a wolf hunt in the first place. 

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