The federal program that controls wolf depredation in Minnesota is operating "day by day" in the wake of Friday’s budget agreement in the U.S. Congress.
That agreement effectively eliminated money for the USDA’s Wildlife Services program, which in Minnesota is based in Grand Rapids. But the program has been ordered by its regional director to keep investigating wolf complaints and killing problem wolves while alternative sources of money are sought, said John Hart, district supervisor in Grand Rapids for USDA’s Wildlife Services.
Gary Nohrenberg, Minnesota state director of the USDA Wildlife Services in St. Paul, said in an e-mail to DNR and Minnesota Department of Agriculture officials Monday that the program’s operations are "in effect on a day-by-day basis. This means we could be instructed to cease all wolf management activities with very little or no advance notice."
The program employs up to 10 full-time staff members in Minnesota. Peak demand typically occurs starting this time of year, when cows have calves. The peak period continues through the summer grazing period, Hart said.
"If they (federal authorities) don’t have the money to continue a federal control program, they should turn the management back to the state, and we’d take over control," Landwehr said.
"alternative sources of money" ? Outrageous that the wolf or any species should be removed from the endangered species list this way. BTW, the $727,000 program also covers wolf depredation in Michigan and Wisconsin. I believe Minnesota's portion is about $200,000. USDA Wildlife Services killed 192 wolves in Minnesota last year.