CCA secures funding for wolf compensation in revised budget

Source: Farm Progress. The original article is posted here.

CCA secures funding for wolf compensation in revised budget

Renewed funding for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program has been CCA’s top budget priority this year.

Governor Newsom announced that an agreement had been reached regarding the 2024-25 State Budget; a “Budget Bill Junior” amending the Budget Act of 2024 appeared in print that same day. Specifically, section 102 of the Act earmarks $600,000 from CDFW’s Biodiversity Conservation Program for wolf compensation.

“Funding for the Wolf-Livestock Compensation Program has been CCA’s hardest-fought battle this year, and I’m elated to see renewed funding for the Program nearly across the finish line,” CCA Vice President of Government Affairs Kirk Wilbur said.

CCA has aggressively sought renewed funding for the program since December of 2023, when members prioritized the issue at the Association’s Annual Convention. While $600,000 is less than CCA had sought for the Program, any renewed funding for the Program is a significant victory for the Association in this challenging fiscal climate, and the funding will enable the Department to prioritize the most crucial elements of the compensation program, such as direct loss compensation.

“I’d like to thank our partners at Defenders of Wildlife and California Farm Bureau for fighting alongside us to support the viability of ranchers in wolf country, and I’d like to recognize the numerous legislative champions who have prioritized wolf compensation funding, especially Sen. Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson), Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Asm. Esmeralda Soria (D-Fresno) and Asm. James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), each of whom championed this Program within their caucuses,” Wilbur said.

In addition to funding for the Program in the revised budget, the public resources budget trailer bill also includes new statutory language authorizing CDFW to “allocate federal funds and any moneys received as donations for purposes of the Wolf-Livestock Compensation Pilot Program.”

Legislators will vote on the revised budget and budget trailer bills later this week; while the funding measures have not yet been signed into law, CCA is confident wolf compensation funding will be included in the final package. For additional information on the budget agreement, see the Governor’s summary, here .

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