Published November 1, 2008 | November 2008 issue
A state program that compensates livestock owners for wolf kills faces a cash crunch. Since its creation last spring, the Livestock Loss Reduction and Mitigation Program has processed more than 30 claims and paid out over $17,000 to farmers and ranchers. The state anticipated that private donations would supplement $80,000 in startup funds provided by the Legislature and a conservation group. But as of September—the busy season for wolf predation—the program had not received a single donation. As a result, next year the program may be unable to cover all livestock losses.
The program will continue whether or not the state retains jurisdiction over wolves (federal wildlife officials have asked a U.S. District Court judge to restore federal protection to wolves in the Northern Rockies). One hope for permanent funding is a U.S. Senate proposal to provide federal matching funds for donations to a state livestock loss trust fund.