Reward offered after wolf killsThe federal government is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of people who shot two wolves in northern Minnesota in November.
By: Forum Newspapers, Lake County News Chronicle
The federal government is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of people who shot two wolves in northern Minnesota in November.
Both wolves were killed on or about Nov. 9. One wolf was shot northwest of Grand Rapids in the Ball Club area while the second was killed northwest of Two Harbors. The wolf killed near Two Harbors had been fitted with a radio tracking collar.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the killings along with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Leech Lake Conservation Enforcement Department.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokeswoman Jane Hodgins said there’s no reason to believe the two shootings are related.
Wolves remain federally protected under the Endangered Species Act in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. The animals had been removed from federal protections in the three states in 2007, but now are back under federal control after a recent court decision. It’s expected that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will move again to de-list wolves in 2010. Until then, it remains illegal for anyone but a federal trapper to kill wolves, except when a life is threatened.
Under federal law, killing a wolf is a violation of the Endangered Species Act, punishable by imprisonment of up to six months and a fine of up to $25,000.
Minnesota has about 3,200 wolves while Wisconsin and Michigan each have about 500.
Contact the DNR’s tip line at (800) 652-9093 or call Special Agent Ron Kramer at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Duluth at (218) 720-5357. Callers can remain anonymous
A Wisconsin man who poached a wolf in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula must pay more than $25,000 in fines and perform 20 days of community service.
A judge this week also sentenced 37-year-old Stephen Popp Jr. of Green Bay to six months’ probation and banned him from hunting for two years.
Popp pleaded guilty in November to misdemeanor charges of killing an endangered species and hunting without a license. Conservation officers with the state Department of Natural Resources found the wolf Nov. 17 at the edge of a field south of Iron River.