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Email: mail@timberwolfinformation.org
Email: mail@timberwolfinformation.org

Ranchers To Receive Reimbursement For Wolf Related Losses

Ranchers To Receive Reimbursement For Wolf Related Losses

Boise, Idaho – A major road block to wolf recovery has been reduced
under the terms of an agreement between the Governor’s Office of Species
Conservation (OSC) and multiple Idaho counties. The agreement spells out
details for the Idaho Wolf Depredation Compensation Program that will soon
compensate ranchers for unconfirmed livestock losses and activities
intended to minimize future wolf related losses.

“I’m so pleased we have finally brought the Compensation Program to
closure,” James Caswell, Administrator, Governor’s Office of Species
Conservation, said. “This is a key and important piece of business that
contributes to a well rounded Wolf Management Program.”

Funding for the Idaho Wolf Depredation Compensation Program comes
from
a federal $100,000 earmark approved at the request of Sen. Larry Craig and
the Idaho Cattle Association (ICA). The amount of compensation to each
rancher will be determined by site-specific information regarding actual
losses as documented in the required application. Ranchers anywhere in the
State can apply but they will need to document losses on rangelands and
private property before wolf re-introduction and after wolves returned to
these ranges. From this historic evidence in the application, economic
losses to ranchers will be determined and reimbursed based on market rates
at the time of the loss. Defenders of Wildlife has and will continue to
pay ranchers for 100% of the value of livestock “confirmed” as wolf kills,
and 50% of the value of “probable” wolf kills. These additional funds will
offset the additional, increased costs that ranchers in areas with wolves
have absorbed since wolf re-introduction.

“The original wolf re-introduction program violated private property
rights without providing just compensation. This Idaho Wolf Compensation
Program will fairly reimburse a number of ranch families who have suffered
major, sometimes devastating losses of income,” commented Ted Hoffman, ICA
President from Mountain Home. “This compensation program was developed by
ranchers with the cooperation of state and local government and it is a
major step towards solving this problem. We applaud the congressional
delegation for obtaining the necessary federal funds and the Office of
Species Conservation and county government for taking a leadership role in
this activity.”

Applications will be accepted for depredations that occurred between
January 1, 2000 and the present time. Applicants will be eligible for
compensation if the application and the necessary documents are submitted
by April 20, 2003. The State, counties and ICA will work to obtain ongoing
funding for the program and if future Congressional appropriations are
received, the deadline for claims will be February 15 in subsequent years.
Should the total of approved claims exceed the available funds, all
approved claims will be paid at the ration of total losses to available
funds.

“Ranchers have been suffering for eight years because no payment is
made if no dead calf is found. On the remote ranges of central Idaho, it
is uncommon to confirm losses from predators,” said Dr. Robert Cope,
Chairman of the Lemhi County Commission. “In fact, the best estimate we
have is that for every confirmed calf kill, between five and seven other
calves simply disappear as wolf food. This program is late in coming, but
at least we can finally get some compensation for the ranchers who have
been paying personally for wolf re-introduction.”

After the applications from affected ranchers are submitted, they
will
be reviewed by a compensation board consisting of representatives of
county commissioners in wolf-affected areas. The initial Board will
consist of one County Commissioner each (or his designee) from the
counties of Clark, Custer, Fremont, Idaho, Lemhi, and Valley.
Administrative details and processing will be handled by Lemhi County as
chaired by Commissioner Robert Cope. Ranchers who wish to submit claims
for livestock losses should submit their claims, along with all pertinent
data and documentation, to:

IDAHO WOLF DEPREDATION COMPENSATION BOARD

Attn: Lemhi County Clerk
206 Courthouse Drive
Salmon, Idaho 83467

A detailed package of information will soon be sent out from the
Idaho
Cattle Association and the Governor’s Office of Species Conservation. The
program criteria and instructions for filing a claim is available at
http://www.accessidaho.org/species/index.html.


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