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As many of you know, the Oregon Senate recently passed a bill that will put into place a comprehensive livestock compensation and wolf coexistence program. The passage of this bill signals Oregon’s ongoing commitment to responsible wolf management. Here is an overview of the facts, as well as what it will mean for wolves:
- The Oregon Senate unanimously approved the bill on June 24, 2011, allowing ranchers who proactively use nonlethal deterrents and best management practices to protect their livestock to receive compensation payments for subsequent losses to wolves.
- This program resulted from the collaborative efforts of Defenders of Wildlife, the Governor’s office, the Oregon Cattleman’s Association, legislators, Hells Canyon Preservation Council, the Oregon Farm Bureau, Wallowa County ranchers and others who worked to reduce conflict and allow wolves and livestock to better coexist on the landscape.
- Since 1987, more than 900 livestock owners have received benefits from this program, which paid more than $1.4 million through Defenders of Wildlife’s privately funded reimbursement program. This program has helped ranchers adjust to the return of wolves. Last year, Defenders of Wildlife announced the phasing out of its compensation program and has now turned its focus on helping ranchers implement preventative methods to deter wolves from preying on livestock.
- Once the bill is signed by Gov. John Kitzhaber, the new Oregon wolf compensation and coexistence program will go into effect, officially ending Defenders’ long-standing wolf compensation program in the Northern Rockies.