Wildlife groups call on Wisconsin attorney general to remove chairman of Natural Resources Council
MADISON, Wisc.— The Humane Society of the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity today sent a letter to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, requesting legal action to remove Natural Resources Board Chairman Frederick Prehn, who continues to hold office for more than two months after his six-year term expired on May 1.
Mr. Prehn’s brazen refusal to step down at the end of his term defies the law and tarnishes the integrity of the Natural Resources Board, which is charged with managing the state’s wildlife in the public trust for all citizens of Wisconsin, present and future, “said Nicholas Arrivo, an attorney with the Humane Society of the United States.” A state office of extraordinary importance to the public interest cannot be held hostage by the one man’s cynical whims, and we urge Attorney General Kaul to take swift action to remedy the situation. “
The letter says Prehn has no legal basis to continue serving on the seven-member board of directors, which sets policy on wildlife, the environment and public lands in Wisconsin. Its jurisdiction includes the approval of quotas and other regulations governing wolf hunting seasons.
The Wisconsin wolf hunt in February 2021 was the second deadliest in state history. At least 218 wolves were killed in less than three days, significantly exceeding quotas. In August, the council is expected to approve quotas for the fall wolf hunt.
“Wisconsin’s brutal winter wolf hunt has shown that the Natural Resources Board needs new leadership, someone who genuinely cares about wolves and other wildlife in the state,” said Collette Adkins, director. of carnivore conservation at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Prehn would have to accept that his term is over and ultimately resign before he does any more damage. This would go a long way in restoring public confidence in those who set state wildlife policy.