That left minority Democrats on the panel shaking their heads. They pointed to a letter University of Wisconsin-Madison wildlife ecologist Tim Van Deelen sent to state Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo, earlier this month that called the DNR's passive approach "nothing more than a decision to let the problem grow in order to avoid controversy rather than to commit to more experimentation with disease control and eradication."
"I am deeply concerned we are fiddling while Rome burns," Clark said.
DNR Lands Division Administrator Kurt Thiede said the public won't support another herd reduction push.
"What we are dealing with here in Wisconsin is a public that doesn't have the stomach or support," Thiede said.
At one point the committee's chairman, Al Ott, R-Forest Junction, told Clark that he and his fellow Democrats should help the DNR win over public opinion by putting out press releases demanding herd reduction.
"Call for those drastic moves," Ott said, "and see what kind of reaction you get."
The committee didn't take any action.