Jackson, Wy – The conservation group Defenders of
Wildlife paid just over 28-thousand dollars to Wyoming ranchers who
lost livestock to wolves this year.
That is nearly three times the amount it paid out in 2003.
Defenders of Wildlife paid nearly eleven-thousand dollars to
Wyoming ranchers in 2003, 21-thousand dollars in 2002, and
14-thousand dollars in 2001.
However, Jim Magagna of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association
called the conservation group's program only marginally helpful
because Defenders requires absolute proof that a wolf was to blame
before it will pay ranchers for lost livestock.
He says many ranchers have the experience to know their losses
were due to wolves, but there is no evidence left to prove it.
There are nearly 300 wolves in the greater Yellowstone area.