Biggest Threat to Wildlife is DNR, not CWD

November 13, Capital Times (Madison, WI) 2002 by Kelly Mattice

Dear Editor: In response to Tom Dawson's Nov. 5 column about not getting thanks for lopping deer heads for the Department of Natural Resources, I say get real. What DNR workers deserve is to be challenged on their self-righteous glorification and sincere belief that they are doing the public and wildlife a big service.

The column says, "CWD is perhaps the biggest recent threat to wildlife in the state." Many ecologists, scientists and "ordinary" folk know that the biggest recent threat to wildlife is the DNR, which has also been the biggest past threat too. The DNR's work for a long time has been to create excessively large deer herds, not healthy wildlife. The column goes on to say, "If CWD spreads throughout the state, it threatens to devastate the deer herd ... slashing the billions of dollars that hunting pumps into the economy." That statement exposes that the DNR's big concern is not for the wildlife of our state, but rather for Wisconsin's hunting tradition that equates to huge financial profits.

The column also perpetuates the myth of the "hot zone" and the fallacy that the rest of the state may be spared if we eradicate the diseased deer in this area. Testing to date has been nearly nonexistent in the rest of the state, and in all likelihood the rest of the state is already infected. Treating the "hot zone" as a special problem is not justifiable and only continues to cover up the DNR's mismanagement of nature, wildlife and tax dollars.

The column makes light of the possibility that chronic wasting disease could cross over and threaten human health. Studies have shown that this is a very real possibility. Intelligent people don't need to wait for scientific proof to take precautions to safeguard their own lives. Some people still listen to their own common sense and don't just buy into all the propaganda and "wisdom" of the so-called experts.

Mr. Dawson, go ahead and share all the gory details of you and your wife Mary Rose's great deed. Try to work us up emotionally and lay some guilt on us, hoping we won't think rationally. Pat yourselves on the back, inflating your egos for doing such grisly work and being such dedicated DNR gods for the cause of Wisconsin's natural resources. I, on the other hand, will continue to raise my awareness and that of the public, giving my thanks to where it is owed, to real conservationists and protectionists who value wildlife for its intrinsic value, not its use and abuse as a financial resource.

The DNR has wasted enough money and "resources." It's time we educate ourselves to the DNR's destruction (not protection) of our natural world. When I'm out again tomorrow and next month I will strive to honor nature and all life. If anyone overhears me bashing the DNR, feel free to join in, but watch out for people holding deer heads in their hands.

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