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$220K pledged to control gray wolves that prey on livestock in Minnesota


More than $200,000 of federal and state funding will be used to control gray wolves that prey on livestock in Minnesota, following the species' return to the endangered list.

Farmers and ranchers were upset by a federal court's decision in December to put the wolf back on the list, meaning they are not allowed to shoot or trap wolves which are threatening to attack their livestock.

But now The Associated Press reports the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the state of Minnesota have agreed to each put $110,000 into funding "wolf damage management" work between now and the end of September.

This will provide the protection to farm businesses that are no longer allowed to use lethal force to ward off predators targeting cattle and other livestock.

The $220,000 investment was revealed by Minnesota's 7th District U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, who earlier this month led a bipartisan coalition to call for emergency funding to assist with wolf control efforts.

He wrote to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, saying: "Farmers and ranchers across the Midwest should not be forced to choose between following the law and protecting their way of life.

"We look forward to working with you to restore wolf depredation programs that will bring much-needed relief to our constituents," he wrote.

The decision in December put the animal back on the endangered species list in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

In January, Governor Mark Dayton proposed to increase a fund to compensate farmers who lose livestock to wolves to $125,000.

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Gray wolves in Minnesota are coming off endangered species list

The Obama administration on Wednesday said that more than 4,000 gray wolves in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have recovered from the threat of extinction and will officially be removed from federal protection. Meanwhile the Minnesota DNR says it is ready to take over managing the animal. And the Associated Press looks into the wolf's still-uncertain future.