Wolf plan advisory committee

The DNR formed the wolf plan advisory committee to provide input to an update of Minnesota’s wolf management plan.

Virtual advisory committee meeting

Wolf plan advisory committee members conducted their first meeting via remote video on June 18. You can view the meeting in its entirety below.

Information

The group's purpose is to provide input to DNR in updating Minnesota's wolf management plan by developing recommended wolf management options and preferences, with particular emphasis on controversial aspects of wolf management.

The DNR selected committee members who represent diverse perspectives, including hunting and trapping; wolf advocacy and animal rights; livestock and agriculture; forestry, conservation and environmental protection; and local governments.

Members
  • 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

About committee membership

Members are appointed for the length of the wolf plan update process (approximately January 2020 – January 2021).

Membership includes:

  • At-large, unaffiliated wolf interests.
  • At-large wolf stakeholders representing wolf advocacy and animal rights groups.
  • Representatives of livestock and agriculture interests.
  • Representatives of hunting and trapping organizations.
  • Representatives of forestry, conservation, environmental, local/county governments and other stakeholder organizations.

Group members applied and were appointed to the group. Organizations were asked to approve their representative’s application. The DNR may remove a member from the group based on conduct or inability to participate.

Applicants will demonstrate:

  1. Representation from all geographic regions in Minnesota and familiarity or interest in wolf management;
  2. Diverse wolf management interests, e.g., conservation, advocacy, animal rights, education, hunting/trapping, recreation, livestock, socioeconomic; and
  3. Effectiveness and respect working with those with different experience, background and perspectives.

As part of the wolf plan update process, DNR also will convene a technical workgroup to review wolf plan components; provide assessment and evaluation of the plan; and make recommendations on population monitoring, research and management. The technical workgroup will be comprised of agency and organization staff involved in wolf management and research. Although the technical workgroup will conduct separate meetings as part of this process, at times, members of the technical workgroup may serve as liaisons or advisors to the advisory group and attend advisory group meetings.

Functions and scope
  1. The group will provide input on updating the Minnesota's wolf management plan.
  2. The group will:
    • Represent the breadth of wolf management interests;
    • Listen to all points of view and try to understand interests of others;
    • Openly discuss issues with people who hold diverse views and participate in cooperative discussion to understand differences and find compromise where possible;
    • Clearly articulate and represent interests of their organization, if applicable;
    • Learn about and contribute to understanding biological, social and economic aspects of wolf management, including stakeholder group perspectives;
    • Generate and evaluate options to address issues expressed by group members;
    • Identify and inform DNR of significant wolf management issues;
    • Facilitate dialogue between diverse wolf management interests and DNR regarding issues;
    • If applicable, keep represented constituent groups informed and solicit input; and
    • Advise on effective and publicly acceptable recommendations for wolf management.
  3. The DNR will support the group by:
    • Providing relevant information (e.g., available data, potential management alternatives);
    • Engaging them on wolf program implementation, background and policy;
    • Providing guidance and addressing issues deemed significant by the group; and
    • Fostering dialogue, which will help the wolf advisory group form recommendations for improving wolf management.
Desired outcomes
  • Dialogue that results in a wolf plan that is publicly supported, support for wolf conservation and management and positive outcomes for wolf management in Minnesota.
  • Shared understanding among members, DNR and the public on issues and potential solutions.
  • Effective and well-supported recommendations to update the wolf management plan.
  • Enhanced public-agency collaboration and partnership to support wolf management goals.
Authority

The group is not a decision-making body and has no authority on wolf management policy, research or operations. DNR may seek consensus recommendations from the group, which DNR will strive to incorporate into revisions of the plan along with dissenting views.

Evaluation
DNR will evaluate the group as needed to determine if the group is accomplishing the task of cooperatively advising DNR on updates to the Minnesota's wolf management plan. The group will sunset when DNR completes the updated plan.
Meetings

No less than three half-day meetings will be conducted during the course of the wolf plan update. Meetings will rotate among locations in northern and central Minnesota. DNR will convene each meeting, which will be open to the public. A video-conference attendance option may be available for some meetings.

DNR staff will develop agendas and organize meetings. DNR staff will prepare technical information to inform discussion, including facilitating assistance from subject matter experts as needed. DNR also will provide meeting summaries, which may be made available to the public. Group business shall take place at DNR-convened meetings only.

Participation and communication

Members attend all meetings and arrive familiar with the agenda and any pre-work. Members agree to disclose conflicts of interest (e.g., if a member stands to benefit financially from a decision item). The DNR's large carnivore specialist is the main point of contact for the group. Dialogue is also encouraged among group members and with other DNR staff and technical group members.

Group members are expected to coordinate with the organizations or stakeholder interests they represent and discuss issues and information from the group in their local communities. For external communications, including social media, members are free to express their views as private citizens; however, they should be clear that they do not speak for or represent the wolf advisory group.

More information

Questions about the wolf management plan update or the advisory committee should be directed to Dan Stark, the DNR's large carnivore specialist.