March 31, 2010

Crapo, Risch Note Wolf Depredation Funding For Idaho

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide $1 Million to States for Wolf Livestock Compensation Project

 Washington, DC - Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch announced today that Idaho will be among the states receiving funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to compensate livestock producers in cases of wolf depredation. The State of Idaho will receive $140,000 in grant funding this year.

"Significantly, the federal government is acknowledging responsibility for these losses that ranchers suffer," Crapo said. "The wolf introduction program in the northwestern United States has been successful in restoring wolf populations, which are expanding significantly as a result. The Federal government made the right decision when it removed gray wolves from the Endangered Species List, but more action is needed. This funding is necessary to provide compensation to producers and support non-lethal activities to reduce the risk of livestock losses from wolves."

"Over the past year, I have heard repeatedly from ranchers who have been pushed to the brink of going out of business as a result of wolf predation. This funding will help provide the resources to prevent future conflicts and provide compensation for losses. Idaho needs to continue active and aggressive management of the wolf population, just as it has successfully done with cats and bears over the last century," said Risch. "Additionally, I am pleased that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rightly allocated the largest portion of funds to Idaho and its neighboring states who are most impacted by the federal government's decision to reintroduce wolves."

The Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-11) authorized the Wolf Livestock Demonstration Project. $1 million in funding was appropriated to support this project as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Interior and Related Agencies appropriations bill. The funding allocation was determined by considering depredation of livestock by wolves, the need for funding in each state and amount of wolves in each state. For additional information on funding distribution or related matter, interested parties should contact the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.