Lawmaker Wants State To Reimburse Ranchers For Cattle Killed By Wolves

January 27, 2014

A lawmaker from Northern Arizona wants to put the state in charge of reimbursing ranchers when a wolf kills one of their cattle. The call comes as a new zone is opened for the release of the wolves, stretching all the way from Interstate-10 to I-40.

Representative Bob Thorpe says he’s heard ranchers are not getting reimbursed, as promised, when cattle are killed by a wolf.

“I don't believe there was any approval in the governor's office, at the legislature, for this wolf program,” Thorpe said. “So, if they are subjecting citizens of Arizona to this program, I want them to at least live up to their obligations.”

Thorpe wants the Fish and Wildlife Service to post a bond that could be used by state officials to reimburse the ranchers. But federal officials say all a rancher needs to get reimbursed is proof the animal was killed by a wolf.

Thorpe says he knows the federal government will not just give the money to the state but suggests there could be a court battle all the way to the Supreme Court.