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State lawmakers fund compensation for wolf depredation

PREDATORS — The Washington Legislature appropriated $250,000 to a fund for compensating ranchers for livestock injured or killed by wolves.

Jack Field, executive vice president of the Washington Cattlemen's Association, said the amount “a great first step” for the agency and for the livestock industry, according to the Capital Press.

The direction WDFW is going on preventative measures, he said, will hopefully reduce the impacts of wolves. The budget also provides $750,000 for nonlethal deterrence methods.

Another important change this year is the removal of a $1,500 cap on the value of an animal. Instead, compensation will be based on the market value of the animal. A steer could be worth $600 and a prize bull would be far more, but the owner would need proof of its value, Capital Press reports.