Washington, D.C. - After a push from U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced it will split $220,000 in funding with the state of Minnesota to resume critical wolf management programs.
A recent U.S. District Court decision returned gray wolves under federal protection, which had left farmers and ranchers in Minnesota without a legal course of action to deal with wolves. Klobuchar, U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), and a bipartisan group of lawmakers recently urged the USDA to immediately locate resources to run wolf depredation programs to assist with wolf damage management.
"Wolf management programs are critical to keeping Minnesota livestock and residents safe," Klobuchar said in a news release. "This much-needed relief from the USDA will help support farmers and ranchers across Minnesota, and I will continue to do everything I can to ensure that Minnesotans have access to this essential service."
Earlier this month, Klobuchar, Peterson, and a bipartisan group of lawmakers sent a letter to the USDA requesting that emergency resources be made available for wolf management services in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. In wake of the recent delisting, Klobuchar has also asked USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to ensure there are enough resources to fully carry out the mission of Wildlife Services control programs.
In 2011, Klobuchar successfully led the effort to delist the wolf through the Endangered Species Act. Klobuchar disagreed with the recent court decision relisting the wolf and believes the Department of Interior should appeal it. She has also said that the State should lead the effort to manage the wolf population.