State forms panel to review claims for wolf-related losses

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington wildlife officials are forming a new panel to review claims for indirect livestock losses caused by wolves.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife's Donny Martorello says the state already pays ranchers market value when cows and other livestock are verified killed by wolves.

This new panel will recommend compensation for indirect wolf-related losses, such as reduced weight gain, low pregnancy rates and higher than normal losses.

Martorello tells the Capital Press that the agency will make the final call on payments but the panel will bring additional expertise and transparency to the process. The agency plans to appoint five volunteers.

He says the agency hasn't made any payments for indirect losses, but two ranchers have filed claims.