Dayton pledges extra $100k for farmers hit by gray wolf hunting ban

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Opinion was divided when a judge's ruling returned the gray wolf to the endangered species list by a federal judge last month, with farmers and ranchers among the most vocal opponents of the move.

The animal's reinstatement to protected status means farmers can no longer shoot them in defense of their livestock, but Governor Mark Dayton hopes a portion of the budget he proposed this week will quell their worries.

The plan calls for a $125,000 fund to compensate farmers who've lost livestock to the wolves. If Dayton's budget is approved, it would be quite a jump from the $25,000 the state usually sets aside for such compensation, according to WCCO.

The station notes the $25,000 fund has already been used up for the year.

Many farmers are still opposed to the decision that put wolves back on the endangered list. MPR reported that a representative of the Minnesota State Cattlemen's Association wants the gray wolf hunt restored, saying wolves remain a threat – especially to farmers in the northern part of the state.

Not that those who've lost livestock to the predatory wolves can't have their pound of flesh – the story also notes that while farmers are now legally forbidden to kill the animals themselves, they can ask state or federal authorities to do so if there's a credible threat.

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