Legislation Proposes Compensation For Livestock Losses Due To Wolves

Jan 10, 2020

Credit NPS Photo / Ken Conger

A new bill has been introduced to the Wyoming Legislature that would create a compensation program for livestock-wolf conflicts outside of the trophy area.

Currently, grey wolves have two different statuses in Wyoming. Wolves are a predator and can be hunted in essentially all of the state outside of Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. But in the northwest corner of the state, the wolves are protected.

When wolves kill livestock within the national park areas, the owner is compensated. But no compensation exists for the predator zone.

The bill co-sponsored by Thermopolis Rep. John Winter and Pinedale Rep. Albert Sommers would create a fund to compensate ranchers in the rest of the state. Sommers said there are areas in the wilderness area where it’s too hard to manage the wolves through hunting

"They're having serious losses both down lower in the predator area where there's a lot of rocks and it's easier for wolves to avoid aircraft and other things," he said.

Sen. John Barrasso has recently introduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that includes a provision to compensate ranchers for livestock losses due to wolves and other predators.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Kamila Kudelska, at kkudelsk@uwyo.edu.