For years, Arizona cattle ranchers have been uncompensated victims of bureaucrats’ experiment with the introduction of wolves to the range. Now, ranchers can apply for some financial assistance with the development of measures to prevent wolf attacks on their livestock.
At its November meeting, the Arizona Livestock Loss Board unanimously approved a grant program that allows “ranchers to seek grant funding to assist in employing measures designed to prevent conflicts between cattle and Mexican wolves.”
The grant program will provide funding to livestock producers “wanting to research and develop measures – such as utilizing range riders, fencing or other measures – designed to prevent conflicts,” according to Arizona Game and Fish.
Ranchers applying for the funds are required to provide a funding match either in cash or in-kind and/or third-party funds. Applicants must also provide documentation on the conflict avoidance method being used and its effectiveness.
“We appreciate the Arizona Game and Fish Department working to secure these resources and are encouraged that the Department continues to recognize the losses caused by the Mexican wolf program,” said Arizona rancher Steve Pierce, who also serves as Arizona Farm and Ranch Group president. “Providing solutions for conflict avoidance is another critical tool in proper wolf management – just as important as covering losses through the Arizona Livestock Loss Board.”
The Arizona Livestock Loss Board was established in 2015 and is charged with addressing the depredation of Mexican wolves on livestock operations in Arizona. As part of its role, the board is supposed to reimburse livestock producers whose cattle were confirmed to have been taken by a Mexican wolf.
According to Arizona Game and Fish, the reimbursement program is designed to provide compensation to livestock producers who “incur costs to their operations from Mexican wolves with the goal of increased tolerance for the presence of this subspecies on working landscapes.”