Minnesota announces wolf plan advisory committee members

Twenty Minnesotans have been selected to help update the state’s wolf management plan. They will serve on an advisory committee formed by the Department of Natural Resources.

“We selected committee members to represent a range of perspectives on wolves,” said Dan Stark, DNR wolf management specialist. “We expect committee members to work constructively to identify issues, discuss differences, and explore options for enhancing wolf conservation in Minnesota.”

Committee members represent diverse perspectives, including hunting and trapping; wolf advocacy and animal rights; livestock and agriculture; and other interests related to wolf conservation and management.

Adopted in 2001, the state’s wolf management plan provides the framework that guides the state’s decisions about wolf regulations, population monitoring, management, conflicts, enforcement, damage control, education, research and other issues. The DNR is committed to taking a comprehensive approach to sustaining healthy wolf populations in Minnesota. The plan update is independent of any federal action on the status of wolves under the Endangered Species Act.

The committee is one of several ways the DNR will work with the public in updating the plan. In addition to the advisory committee, the DNR will gather public input through:

A public attitude survey
Open houses
Public meetings
A public comment period on a draft plan
With the public’s input, the DNR will evaluate wolf management and identify needed plan revisions. The updated plan is expected to be available in early 2021. Information about the plan update can be found on the DNR’s wolf management plan webpage.

Tribal engagement and outside experts
The DNR will also coordinate and communicate directly with Minnesota’s tribal governments regarding the plan update. In addition, the DNR will form a technical committee that includes representatives of agencies, academic institutions, and organizations involved in wolf management and research in Minnesota to provide expert input to the planning process.

Committee members
Advisory committee members, and their affiliation as applicable, are listed below:

Collette Adkins, Center for Biological Diversity
Ellen Candler, Minnesota Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Christine Coughlin, Humane Society of the United States
Jason Dinsmore, National Wildlife Federation/ MN Conservation Federation
Jess Edberg, at-large member
Scott Engle, at-large member
Craig Engwall, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
Nancy Gibson, International Wolf Center
Miles Kuschel, Minnesota Farm Bureau
Gary Leistico, Minnesota Trappers Association
Travis Luedke, at-large member
Allen Lysdahl, Hubbard County Natural Resource Management Department
Angela McLaughlin, at-large member
Shirley Nordrum, at-large member
Susan Peet, at-large member
Gary Peterson, Carlton County commissioner, representing Association of Minnesota Counties
Peter Ripka, Minnesota Farmers Union
William Severud, Minnesota Chapter of The Wildlife Society
Jacob Thompson, Minnesota State Cattleman’s Association
Joseph Wolf, Howling for Wolves.