Barrasso squares off with DOI over wolves
Daniel rancher Charles Price is pictured with Senator Barrasso. Price
was in D.C. to testify on the wolf compensation bill.
by Senator Barrasso press release
July 9, 2008
U.S. Senator John Barrasso , R-Wyo., took aim at the
U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) for snubbing hard-working ranchers whose livestock are killed by wolves.
Barrasso’s comments came during a Senate Energy and
Natural Resources Committee hearing on a bill he sponsored
with Senator Jon Tester, D-Mont., to authorize federal matching money for state trust funds to reimburse
livestock owners whose animals are killed by wolves.
DOI testified at the hearing that management of the wolves is entirely a state issue, and that the federal government should not be involved in providing compensation.
Barrasso responded: "It seems to me that Washington wants to have it both ways. On one hand, federal officials want to have a seat at the table when it comes to managing the wolves, yet they want nothing to do with the financial responsibility of putting them in our state."
"Ranchers in Wyoming work hard every day to support their families. Washington ’s decision to introduce the wolf has led to lost livestock, and a direct threat to ranchers’ livelihoods. Washington forced the wolf on Wyoming — Washington has the responsibility to pay for the damage."
" Wyoming spent $1.2 million last year providing compensation to ranchers who lost livestock. My legislation will help ensure that ranchers get the assistance they need to fix Washington ’s mistake."
Mr. Charles Price, a rancher from Daniel, Wyoming testified on behalf of the Tester-Barrasso plan.
Data collected cooperatively by the University of Wyoming shows that on the Upper Green River Cattle Allotment alone, more than 1200 calves were lost in the first decade after wolves were introduced. That constitutes more than half a million dollars in losses suffered by ranchers on one allotment. This loss is representative of those felt by sheep and cattle operations all over western Wyoming .
The Tester-Barrasso bill, S. 2875, would provide grants to:
- Reduce the risk of predation from wolves and grizzly bears; and,
- Allow for compensation to livestock owners for livestock loss from predation by wolves and grizzly bears.