The Oregon Department of Agriculture, working with Gov. John Kitzhaber's office, has approved nearly $93,000 in funding appropriated by the 2011 legislature for county-level work to implement the Oregon
Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance County Block Grant Program.
Funds have been distributed to eight counties east of the Cascade Mountains for actual livestock losses caused by wolves and for proactive efforts to prevent wolf impacts on livestock.
"We are pleased to announce these awards, and we thank everyone involved for their efforts to implement this new program," says Oregon Department of Agriculture Director Katy Coba.
"The conflict between wolves and livestock is controversial, and addressing the issue appropriately is important to all sides. We think this program is a good example of how government at the state and county levels can effectively work together to make a difference."
Wallowa, Union, Baker and Umatilla counties where the bulk of the wolf depredations occur, received $71,215, or 86% of the money allocated from the fund.
The state has paid 100% of the claims tied to confirmed or probable livestock losses due to wolves. Livestock owners worked with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to document these losses.
Payments for depredations are made on a reimbursement basis.
Wallowa County is the only area that experienced confirmed or probable livestock losses and was awarded $13,320 to compensate affected ranchers for those losses.
Of the total funding provided by the block grants, $66,500, or 80%, is going towards proactive, non-lethal efforts to reduce conflicts between wolves and livestock. County level advisory committees established by the program legislation advanced grant requests to undertake proactive conflict deterrence efforts.
Gov. Kitzhaber praises the program, saying he commends the counties, the advisory committees and landowners "for recognizing the program and underlying law's dual purpose of compensating for livestock losses when they happen while providing grants to try to deter wolf-livestock conflicts from happening in the first place."