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Mon August 30, 2010
Wolf compensation program is ending.
By Renny MacKay
Laramie, Wy – Now that the federal government is providing money to ranchers and sheepherders for livestock killed by wolves, the conservation group Defenders of Wildlife is ending its compensation program. Defenders started paying ranchers for wolf-killed livestock and working animals more than 20 years ago. Suzanne Stone with Defenders says they paid out one-point-four million dollars, throughout the Northern Rockies. In Wyoming the total was 360 thousand dollars. And she says the program was a success.
"It helped us build relationships with the livestock community that we wouldn't have otherwise wouldn't have had. So, we were talking to ranchers on a day to day basis about their losses and they actually helped advise us on things they were doing and they were advising their neighbors to do to help avoid livestock losses to wolves."
The federal government started sending money to the states to compensate livestock producers last year. The state has also been paying ranchers. The Wyoming Stock Growers Association's Jim Magagna says the federal program may not be an adequate replacement for the Defenders of Wildlife program. He says the federal money only goes for livestock killed inside areas where wolves are considered trophy game, which is a relatively small area in the northwestern corner of Wyoming.