Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2011 11:00 AM
HB3560 will need at least 16 votes to pass the Senate
The Oregon House of Representatives on June 22 unanimously passed a wolf compensation bill.
"This is kind of a historic moment where the Oregon Cattlemen's Association, the Oregon Farm Bureau, Defenders of Wildlife, the governor's office and our tribal partners have all come together with a solution," six-term Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, said.
House Bill 3560 directs the Oregon Department of Agriculture to establish the compensation fund to reimburse ranchers for livestock losses caused by wolves.
Ranchers are required to use 30 percent of the $100,000 appropriated in the bill for nonlethal controls in an attempt to reduce wolf-livestock conflicts.
Ranchers would apply for compensation through county governments.
Katie Fast, director of government affairs for the Oregon Farm Bureau, said she has been working on establishing a wolf depredation compensation program since 2005, when the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted the state's Wolf Conservation and Management Plan.
Defenders of Wildlife in recent years compensated ranchers for wolf-caused losses. That program ends as of Sept. 1.
HB3560 now needs at least 16 votes in the state Senate to advance to Gov. John Kitzhaber for his signature.