Wallowa County Commissioner request $30,500 from State Wolf Compensation Fund
Wallowa County Board of Commissioners voted to put in an application requesting $30,500 through the state Wolf Depredation Compensation grant program, Monday, February 6.
The three commissioners, Mike Hayward, Susan Roberts and Paul Castilleja voted unanimously to approve a compensation request of $20,000 for livestock damage that includes $11,730 for loss due to wolves from September 2011 to present and the additional amount for loss expected before the next claim period in a year. The request also included $10,000 for non-lethal deterrent of wolves and $500 for costs to implement the local grant program.
The main question up in the air was whether the county would apply only what it could document now, or try to get funds for expected future losses.
“In talking to other counties, it is my understanding they plan to request for a substantial amount out of the program for future losses,”WC Commissioner chairman Mike Hayward said. ” It’s next year before we can apply again.”
The decision to apply for the future loss came with the knowledge from the previous years that heaviest losses have been in the spring.
The commission used figures supplied by its Community Alliance Livestock Fund (C.A.L.F) advisory committee as well as a separate claims committee established to set livestock values for compensation claim request.
The Oregon legislature established the fund Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance Block Grant Program 2012 under House Bill 3560 last June. The bill appropriated a total of $100,000 from the general fund, with $50,000 expected to be granted in 2012 and $50,000 in 2013. The livestock predation compensation fund was included in ODFW’s budget cut freeze last year by Governor Kitzhaber, but was released in December 2011.
Under the funding rules, at least 30 percent of each application is required to be for non-lethal deterrent to keep wolves away from livestock.
The annual deadline to apply for the first round of funds is Feb. 15.
Cynthia Warnock who represented C.A.L.F. explained that the recommendation from the committees was to ask for non-lethal deterrent fund for the range rider position, which was felt to “give the biggest bang for the buck,” although part could also be spent on other methods. A $10,000 grant amount would pay for 66 ½ days (533 hours) for a range rider.
The $11,730 compensation was for two probable and eight confirmed wolf predations by the Imnaha pack between Sept. 7, 2011 and Jan. 13, 2012 in Wallowa County, ranging from $1,500 for a probably mule kill, and $840 for two confirmed calf kills.
Commissioner Susan Roberts along with ranchers Todd Nash and Levi Herman, and co-existence supporters Mark Porter and Wally Sykes are current members of the C.A.L.F. board of directors. Two vacancies representing business interests are vacant.
Ex-officio members of C.A.L.F. are Bill Williams, represent Farm Service Agency; Warnock, a member of the Soil and Water Conservation staff; John Williams, OSU Extension agent; and ranchers Rod Childers and Dwayne Voss.
On the separate claims committee are Alan Klages, a SWCD director; Donna Smith, FSA county committee member; Scott McClaran, county OCA representative; and ranchers Dennis Sheehy and Todd Nash.
The committees, amended to meet state membership specifications, were officially approved by a 2-1 vote of the board of commissioners Jan. 17.
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