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OR: ODA awards wolf grant funds to counties

Holly Owens

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) has approved $184,039 in funding distributed to 10 counties as part of the Oregon Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance County Block Grant Program, according to a news release. Funds for 2017 have been distributed for actual livestock losses or injuries caused by wolves, for missing livestock above the normal historical levels in areas of known wolf activity, for proactive efforts to prevent wolf and livestock interactions, and for county administrative costs.

Of grant funding provided this year, $129,950 – or 70 percent – is going toward proactive, non-lethal efforts to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock.

According to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon’s 2016 wolf population slightly increased from 110 the previous year to 112 wolves.

This past year, Klamath joined Wallowa, Umatilla and Baker as counties experiencing the bulk of the state’s wolf activity. The four counties have received $152,097 – approximately 82 percent of the money awarded for 2017.

Wallowa, Klamath, Umatilla, Lake and Jackson counties filed claims with ODA after experiencing confirmed or probable livestock losses in the 2016 cycle. These counties are being awarded $15,227 to compensate affected ranchers for losses due to death and/or injury. Wallowa County received $9,390, Klamath County received $4,070, Umatilla County received $900, Lake County received $600 and Jackson County received $267 for compensation.

Baker, Umatilla, and Wallowa counties are being awarded $34,942 total to compensate ranchers for missing livestock due to wolves. Baker County received $16,125, Umatilla County received $11,212, and Wallowa County received $7,605 for compensation.

A total of $3,920 was awarded to seven counties to help with administrative costs.

Following are the total awards made by ODA to counties as part of the grant program for the 2017 period: Umatilla, $67,363, Wallowa, $47,445, Baker, $23,219, Klamath, $14,070, Lake, $10,600, Morrow, $8,675, Jackson, $5,717, Union, $5,000, Wheeler, $1,500 and Malheur, $450.