Friday, April 18, 2008

Proposed federal compensation for wolf kills

Montana Senator Jon Tester and Wyoming Senator John Barrasso are teaming up to help livestock owners whose animals are killed by wolves.

The Gray Wolf Livestock Loss Mitigation Act would create state trust funds to pay ranchers for those losses.

It would also allow federal grants for states to help lower the risk of wolf kills by improving fencing and grazing practices, using guard dogs, and other means.

The bi-partisan plan is in response to the federal government's decision in March to remove gray wolves from the Endangered Species Act and turn over wolf management to Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

In 2007 wolves killed 75 head of cattle in Montana, up from 32 in 2006.

Sheep losses rose from 4 in 2006 to 27 in 2007.

In Wyoming it's estimated that wolves killed 100 adult cattle and 600 calves in 2007.

Sheep losses reached 100 ewes and 400 lambs last year.

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