Wolf management program receives fundingU.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar recently secured funding for the Wolf Predation Management Program, a program that directly removes problem wolves threatening livestock, pets, and humans and investigates wolf-related livestock injuries and deaths.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar recently secured funding for the Wolf Predation Management Program, a program that directly removes problem wolves threatening livestock, pets, and humans and investigates wolf-related livestock injuries and deaths.
The program, which was set to lose funding beginning October 1, will now be able to operate through the end of 2011, when wolves are scheduled to be delisted in Minnesota and management returned to the state. The funding will come from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“This program is critical to keeping Minnesota livestock and residents safe, and a gap in this protection is simply unacceptable,” Klobuchar said. “That is why I worked closely with Secretary Vilsack to secure funding for the program until the wolf can be delisted, so that farmers and families are never without this essential service. This is great news for our rural communities.”
Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has been a leader in the effort to immediately delist the Great Lakes gray wolf from the Endangered Species Act list in Minnesota and the western Great Lakes states. She worked with U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to speed up the delisting process and received a commitment from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that a final ruling to delist will be made before the end of 2011.
When it became clear that funding for the Wolf Predation Management Program would expire September 30, Klobuchar worked closely with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to find funding for the program until the end of the year when the wolf is scheduled to be delisted and management will return to the state.
Recent estimates indicate Minnesota’s wolf population is nearly 3,000 strong – approximately double the threshold required under the Endangered Species Act to ensure long-term survival. In 2010, the Wolf Predation Management Program actively managed the wolf population in Minnesota removing 192 problem wolves in response to wolf kills of about 100 cows and sheep, and 15 dogs.