Senate Committee unanimously passes Tester’s wolf kill bill

Senators also pass Tester’s bill to protect Montana water




) – With a unanimous vote, two of Senator Jon Tester’s bipartisan bills sailed through a Senate committee today.

Tester reached across party lines to write both the Gray Wolf Livestock Loss Mitigation Act, which reimburses ranchers who lose animals to wolves, and the Cooperative Watershed Management Act, which protects Montana’s water and fishing heritage.

The Gray Wolf Livestock Loss Mitigation Act

Tester teamed up with Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., to pass the Gray Wolf Livestock Loss Mitigation Act.  The measure authorizes federal money for state trust funds to prevent livestock losses and reimburse livestock owners whose animals are killed by wolves.

In Montana the federal money would boost a livestock loss fund which repays


ranchers the full market value of killed animals.

“The federal government did a lot of work putting wolves back in


,” Tester said.  “Now it needs to step up to the plate and reimburse ranchers who can’t afford to lose any of their livestock to wolves.”

The Cooperative Watershed Management Act


Senator Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, cosponsored Tester’s Cooperative Watershed Management Act with Tester.  The bill offers federal grants to small groups of people who agree to work with each other to manage their water resources.


Tester said the measure gives people like irrigators, ranchers, anglers, scientists and outdoorsmen an incentive to sit down together and figure out the best way to manage the streams and rivers they depend on.


“The best way to manage a resource as valuable as water is to bring everyone to the table and work together,” Tester said.  “This measure will help protect


’s water and fishing heritage for generations to come.”

Both measures today passed the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, on which Tester serves.  They will now go to the full Senate for a vote.