Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Arizona - S.B.1243 could mean protection for Mexican gray wolves and livestock

Arizona Senate Bill 1243 authorizes Arizona Game and Fish (AZGF) to enter into a memorandum of understanding with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to limit reintroductions and releases of Mexican gray wolves to within three miles of state or private land. The bill also asks for a full DNA profile of each wolf reintroduced. SB 1243 did pass both the House and the Senate once but because of the amendment, it is now back in the Senate, waiting for a final vote. The bill has yet to be been finalized. According to Bahr, the bill most likely won't be passed until the state budget is passed by Gov. Doug Ducey. For ranchers who have suffered livestock losses by wolves, the bill could make a big difference. "It really kind of sets a landmark regarding the wolf program," said Andy Groseta, a third generation Arizona rancher and past president of Arizona Cattle Growers Association and the National Cattleman's Beef Association. "It sets the benchmark that any wolf located within three miles of State Trust land or private property shall be picked up by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW)." According to Carey Dobson, a fourth generation rancher operating three cattle ranches within the recovery area, issues between wolves and livestock is inevitable. "I've tried everything to keep them away. All they do is just run around you in circles. You can push them off and they go to your neighbor and then they come right back. We've tried everything," he said. "It's outrageous how much money I have to put out just to keep ranching."...more

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