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Wolf impacts on ranchers softened by grant program

Wolf impacts on ranchers softened by grant program

The first year of a program to prevent wolf impacts and compensate ranchers who have suffered livestock losses due to wolves has been operating smoothly.

Out of the 100-thousand dollars allocated for the biennium, about 83-thousand was spent the first year– most of it for non-lethal prevention measures. But some of the money was directly given by the counties to ranchers who suffered losses and most of the remaining funds will do the same. Year one of a block grant program for Oregon counties impacted by wolf depredation has been fulfilling its intended purpose, says Jason Barber of the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

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OR14 was captured and GPS-collared by ODFW in the Weston Mountain area north of the Umatilla River in 2012

OR14 was captured and GPS-collared by ODFW in the Weston Mountain area north of the Umatilla River in 2012

ODA administers the program and is currently reviewing grant applications from 10 eastern Oregon counties for the remaining funds available in year two, even as the state’s known wolf population has doubled to 46 since the first round of funding.

Barber says about 80 percent of the funds distributed in year one were directed towards proactive, non-lethal efforts to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock.

With the limited amount of money available for the second year of the program, awards are expected to only cover compensation of ranchers who have had livestock killed or injured this past year even though several counties are asking for funding.



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