MAZINA’IGAN PAGE 4 FALL 2017 TheWisconsinDepartmentofNaturalResources (DNR)reportedinJunethatthestate’sgraywolfpopu- lation increased to a record high 925-952 animals in winter 2016. This estimate represents a 6% increase from winter 2015. Whatisthesignificanceofthisincrease?Let’slook atsomeofthecultural,congressional,anddemographic history of ma’iingan in order to better understand this population change. Cultural bonds between Ma’iingan and the Ojibwe FortheOjibwepeople,ma’iingan,thewolf,holds great significance. This significance goes all the way back to the Ojibwe Creation Story. As told by Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) spiritual leader Eddie Benton-Banai in the The Mishomis Book (1988), Original Man was sent to earth by the Creator andgiventhetaskofnamingalltheplantsandanimals. As he completed this task, he noticed that each animal came in pairs, whereas Original Man, was alone. In response to this question, the Creator sent Original Man a brother, ma’iingan. The two traveled the world and grew very close. When their travels concluded, the Great Spirit told them they each had to embark down separate paths. Yet, despite this separa- tion, they were told that “What shall happen to one of you shall also happen to the other. Each of you will be feared, respected, and misunderstood by the people who will later join you on this earth.” Man and ma’iingan went their separate ways, but have remained linked by this brotherhood and by this fate. Historical events charting this link- age are laid out in Chapter 17 of the book Recovery of Gray Wolves in the Great Lakes Region of the United States. In this chapter, GLIFWC Wildlife Biologist Peter David writes about several connections between ma’iingan and the Ojibwe, including a time during 1974–1975 whenWisconsinwasbelievedtobewolfless. “Interestingly,” he writes, “in the year that passedbetweentheinitialarrest[ofLCOmembersFred andMikeTribble,arrestedforexercisingtreatyfishing rights on Chief Lake] and the appeal, another seem- ingly small event occurred that involved the crossing of a political boundary: several wolves ventured into northwestern Wisconsin from the growing population in neighboring Minnesota. It was the first documented presence of wolves in the state in over a decade and a half (WDNR 1999).” AtatimewhentheOjibwepeoplebeganreclaim- ing their harvesting territory, wolves also began to reclaim their territory. However, as predicted, the road has been filled with people and efforts born out of fear and misunderstanding of ma’iingan and the Ojibwe. State, federal efforts impact Ma’iingan ThestateDNRestimatesthatWisconsinwashome to an estimated 3,000–5,000 wolves during the 1830s, beforeWisconsinwassettled.Overtime,however,wolf populations dwindled due to wolf bounties aimed at preserving livestock and deer populations. Wolves were given federal protection under the Endangered Species Act in 1974 and declared endan- gered by the state DNR in 1975. A wolf recovery plan completed in 1989 set a state goal for reclassifying wolves as threatened once the population remained at or above 80 for three years.Recoveryeffortsfocusedon education,habitatprotection,legal protection,andpaidcompensation for problem wolves. The wolf population grew throughoutthe1990sandtheDNR completedanewmanagementplan in1999.Thismanagementplanset a delisting goal of 250 wolves in late winter outside of Indian res- ervations, and a management goal of 350 wolves outside of Indian reservations. In 1999, wolves were reclassified to state threatened status with 205 wolves in the state. In 2004 wolves were removed from the state threatened species list and were reclassified as a protected wild animal with 373 wolves in the state (WDNR, Grey Wolf Factsheet, 2016). Ma’iingan today After years of delisting efforts, a new federal del- isting process began on May 5, 2011 and wolves were officiallydelistedonJanuary27,2012.Thepopulation count in winter 2011 was about 782–824 wolves in the state. A federal court decision relisted the gray wolf as endangered in December 2014. With two years passed since the state’s last legal hunting and trapping season for wolves, David says that the wolf population increase in 2016–2017 was expected.Itshouldbenoted,however,thatthepopula- tion did not increase in every wolf zone in the state. Zone 2, which covers northeastern Wisconsin including Vilas, Florence, Oneida, Forest, and Mari- nette county, saw a decrease in their wolf population from an estimated 243–252 in winter 2015 to 206–214 in winter 2016. Zone 4, which is adjacent to Zone 2 on the southern and eastern sides, also saw a decrease from52toanestimated37–40overtheyear.Thecause of this is unknown. Overall, one could draw a parallel between the strengthofwolfnumbersgrowingthroughoutthestate and the strength of Ojibwe voices growing in response to various environmental concerns faced throughout our communities. It is comforting to know that in our Anishinaabe purpose to help take care of Mother Earth, our brother and protector, ma’iingan runs beside us. As Gary Ferguson, co-author of Decade of the Wolf: Returning the Wild to Yellowstone wrote, “They are essential wildness. And every day that they run free, comes the opportunity for us to rekindle the kind of relationships that helps us feel at home in the world.” Ma’iingan on the rise in Wisconsin By Paula Maday, Staff Writer Wolf ESA status update The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia determined on August 1 that the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2011 delisting of wolves did not comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This means that wolves are still listed under the ESA for the time being. The court states: “The central dispute in this case is whether the Endangered SpeciesAct permits the Service to carve out of an already- listedspeciesa‘distinctpopulationsegment’forthepurposeofdelisting that segment and withdrawing it from the Act’s aegis. We hold that the Act permits such a designation, but only when the Service first makes the proper findings.” The Court of Appeals then goes on to find that the Service failed to make the findings that would allow it to delist the wolf. —A. McCammon Soltis Ma’iingan. (Associated Press photo) • MA’IINGAN/CWD • Researchers work to manage whitetails, harvest as CWD looms Chronic wasting disease (CWD) continuestospreadthroughoutthewest- ern Great Lakes region, and threatens the future of deer hunting in the Ceded Territories. Thus far, in the Ceded Territories, therehasonlybeenoneconfirmedCWD- positive deer in the wild population of white-tailed deer, but private deer farms and hunting preserves have produced a considerable number of CWD-infected deer within or near the ceded lands. The potential risk to human health is always a concern when talking about CWD. Rural populations, including tribal communities that rely on deer meat as an important source of protein in their diets, are expected to be hit the hardest by the CWD problem. Studies indicate that as CWD spreads,moreandmorepeoplearecom- ing in contact with, and/or consuming CWD-contaminated meat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people should avoid eating meat from any deer or elk that looks sick or that tests positive for CWD. Recently,anongoingresearchstudy has presented evidence that CWD can be transmitted to macaques, which are a species of primate that are genetically similar to humans. Although there has been no evidence to date that CWD has been transmitted to humans, this macaque study should give caution to all who consume deer and elk meat. In 2016, the Voigt Intertribal Task Force established an intertribal CWD working group. This working group, made-up of tribal representatives and wildlife biologists, was established to discuss culturally appropriate and bio- logically sound methods to prevent the spread of CWD. CWDiscausedbymis-shapedpro- teins called “prions.” The prions which cause CWD are typically concentrated in the brain, spinal column, spleen, and lymph nodes of infected deer. Long-distance transport of CWD- infected deer and improper disposal of infected tissues are the primary causes ofthespreadofCWD.Manystateshave beenaddressingthisissuebyimplement- ing carcass transport regulations, which restrict what parts of a deer carcass can betransportedinordertostopthespread of CWD. One of the main goals of the intertribal CWD working group is to develop guidelines and regulations for tribal members to protect human health and prevent the spread of CWD across Indian country. Information related to carcass transport regulations will be distributed with deer hunting permits at tribal registration stations and posted on GLIFWC’swebsiteandFacebookpage. Additional resources for deer hunters TheUniversityofWisconsin–Mad- ison, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and others have developed documents that provide deer hunters with recommendations for reducing the spread of CWD, including subjects related to carcass transport, handling of carcasses, disposing of carcasses, and decontaminating equipment used By Travis Bartnick GLIFWC Wildlife Biologist (see CWD page 18)