In a recent letter to leadership of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, Montana Senator Steve Daines joined Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Cynthis Lummis and Idaho’s Mike Crapo and James Risch, in urging adequate funding for livestock losses due to grizzly bears.
“The America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, enacted with broad, bipartisan support, established the Grant Program for Losses of Livestock Due to Depredation by Federally Protected Species. However, this program has never received funding. We write to respectfully urge robust funding for this program in the Senate Fiscal Year 2023 Interior Appropriations bill.”
“From drought, disease, and unpredictable weather, ranchers face a vast amount of challenges while working to put food on tables across America and provide for their livelihood,” the letter said. “Predators are part of everyday life for livestock owners and grizzly bears have become one of the largest threats to ranchers and their operations, particularly in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho.”
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the grizzly bear has met all biological recovery criteria in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem and Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. While the Department of the Interior continues to delay moving forward with a delisting determination based on their own agency’s scientific review, wildlife managers and landowners are handcuffed from utilizing certain deterrents and techniques for warding off the grizzly bear from their land.”
“The consequences can be fatal as grizzly bears encroach upon communities and prey on livestock. Meanwhile, state agencies are forced to divert limited resources away from traditional activities and towards compensating ranchers for these losses,” the letter concluded.
The Montana Stockgrowers Association said that they appreciate the senators’ work on this issue, and will continue to push for adequate funding for producer losses caused by grizzly bears.
MSGA/Sen. Steve Daines