Wolf Management Plan
Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan
The Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan 2023 was approved by the Natural Resources Board (NRB) on Oct. 25, 2023. A recording of the October NRB Meeting is available on the DNR's YouTube channel.
The DNR is working on formatting the approved plan for final publication and will be posted here once completed. Those interested in the history of the management plan process can find a curated timeline below.
The department is grateful for all who participated in the development of the plan, shared feedback and followed along throughout this 2.5-year process.
From 2021-2023, the Wisconsin DNR updated our state's wolf management plan. Since the DNR manages wolves according to this plan and following state and federal laws, the DNR took this revision process very seriously and remained committed to a transparent, deliberative and inclusive management plan update process that recognizes the diversity of interest areas regarding wolf management.
Wolf Management Plan Update Process
The wolf management plan provides overall guidance to the state's wolf management efforts. During the plan update process, the DNR collected extensive public input through a wolf management plan committee, an online questionnaire and an opportunity to review and comment on an initial draft of the management plan. Throughout the process, the DNR also worked closely with our tribal partners and other natural resource professionals involved in wolf management in Wisconsin.
Updated Timeline (Newest to Oldest)
DRAFT PLAN APPROVED BY THE BOARD: The Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan 2023 was approved by the Natural Resources Board on Oct. 25, 2023. The supporting information that was provided to the board and public for this meeting included a background memo, a summary of the public comments and the draft plan itself.
TRIBAL CONSULTATIONS: The DNR invited and participated in further government-to-government consultations with tribal nations in Wisconsin.
- DNR SHARED REVISED DRAFT PLAN WITH THE PUBLIC: The DNR shared a new revised draft of the plan on Aug. 1, 2023.
- Thank you to everyone who provided a comment and is interested in wolf management in Wisconsin.
- COMMENTS ARE AVAILABLE: The public can review the comments received during the public comment period.
- DNR HOSTED A LISTENING SESSION: During the public comment and review period, the DNR hosted a virtual listening session on Tuesday, Feb. 7. A recording of this listening session is available on the DNR’s YouTube channel.
- The PUBLIC REVIEW PERIOD ENDED FEB. 28: After 111 days and over 3000 comments received, the public review and comment period officially ended on Feb. 28.
- SCIENTIFIC PUBLIC OPINIONS SURVEY COMPLETE: The scientific survey was completed, and the results were incorporated into the draft plan.
- DNR SHARED DRAFT PLAN WITH THE PUBLIC, REQUESTS PUBLIC REVIEW: The DNR shared the draft plan on Nov. 10 and began a public review and comment period.
Spring and Summer 2022
- TRIBAL CONSULTATIONS: The DNR invited and participated in government-to-government consultations with tribal nations in Wisconsin.
- SCIENTIFIC PUBLIC OPINIONS SURVEY: The DNR conducted an updated scientific assessment of Wisconsin residents' opinions about and attitudes toward wolves and wolf management.
- DNR CONTINUED UPDATING THE PLAN: The DNR continued to draft the updated plan.
- WMPC INPUT REPORT PUBLISHED: The DNR Wolf Management Plan Committee's input report was published on the DNR website.
- DNR CONTINUED UPDATING THE PLAN: The DNR continued to update the plan based on the best available science, public input and WMPC report, all following current state and federal law.
- DNR PROVIDED A PLAN UPDATE TO NRB: DNR provided an update on progress at the January 2022 Natural Resources Board meeting.
- DNR BEGAN DRAFTING AN UPDATED PLAN: The DNR began drafting natural history, human dimensions and historical chapters for inclusion in the revised management plan.
July - October 2021
- WMPC MEETINGS: The WMPC convened a series of four meetings to discuss wolves and wolf management and provide input on the revised wolf management plan.
April - May 2021
- PUBLIC INPUT PERIOD OPENED FROM APRIL 15 TO MAY 15: The public was invited to comment and provide input on the future of wolf management in Wisconsin.
February - March 2021
- INVITED TRIBAL PARTNERS: The DNR invited tribal participation and membership in the new Wolf Management Plan Committee (WMPC).
- WMPC APPLICATION OPENED: The application period opened for stakeholder organizations to apply for a seat on the committee.
Public Input Questionnaire
The DNR developed an online public input questionnaire to collect all interested individuals' input on wolf management from April 15 to May 15, 2021. A short memo of the public opinion survey is available and includes a summary and analysis of the data collected. These results were presented during the July 22 meeting of the Wolf Management Plan Committee, and those slides and presentations are available for viewing (below).
Wolf Management Plan Committee
Members were named for the Wolf Management Plan Committee (WMPC) following an application and invitation process in Spring 2021. The WMPC's purpose was to provide input to the DNR during the development of an updated wolf management plan, ultimately resulting in a wolf management plan with broad public and scientific support.
The WMPC was an inclusive and diverse committee comprised of individuals representing hunting/trapping organizations, wolf advocacy/education organizations and agricultural/ranching organizations. In addition to these stakeholder seats, there was representation by other government agencies, tribes and the Wisconsin Conservation Congress.
WMPC Meeting #1 - July 22, 2021
On July 22, 2021, the Wolf Management Plan Committee met virtually for the first time. You can review the meeting materials below or watch a recording of the meeting.
- WMPC Agenda
- Review of Public Input
- Wolf Program Overview Slides
- WMPC Meeting #1 Slides
- WMPC Meeting #1 Notes
WMPC Meeting #2 - Aug. 19, 2021
On Aug. 19, 2021, the Wolf Management Plan Committee met virtually for the second time. You can review the meeting materials below or watch the recording of the meeting.
WMPC Meeting #3 - Sept. 23, 2021
On Sept. 23, 2021, the Wolf Management Plan Committee met virtually for the third time. You can review the meeting materials below or watch the meeting recording.
WMPC Meeting #4 - Oct. 21, 2021
On Oct. 21, 2021, the Wolf Management Plan Committee met virtually for the fourth time. You can review the meeting materials below or watch the meeting recording.
- DNR Wolf Advisory Committee Meeting #4
- Wolf Management Plan Committee Meeting #4 Slides
- Wolf Management Plan Committee Meeting #4 Agenda
- Wolf Management Plan Committee Meeting #4 Notes
Scientific Assessments of Public Opinions Towards Wolves
The DNR conducted a scientific survey on Wisconsinites' attitudes toward wolves and wolf management in 2014. You can read the full 2014 survey report.
In 2022, the DNR conducted another scientific assessment of Wisconsinites' attitudes toward wolves and wolf management. This study measured current public opinions about wolves, as well as changes in opinions and attitudes since the 2014 survey. The results were used to help inform the development of the updated draft plan. The 2022 public opinion survey is available for all to view.
Learn More About Wisconsin's Wolf Population And Management
Visit our page on Wolves in Wisconsin to learn more about our state's wolf population and the DNR's wolf management program. To learn more about wolf conflict management, visit the Gray Wolf Depredation and Reports page.