Elk and cattle both eat grass. Lawmakers mull compensating ranchers – for more than the grass is worth

Proposed changes to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s damage program come at the behest of the livestock lobby and cattle ranchers who live in parts of Wyoming with far too many elk.

Wyoming wildlife managers worry that a proposed change to landowner compensation regulations could hurt efforts to get a handle on inflated elk populations.

Legislation advancing in the statehouse, House Bill 60 – Excess wildlife population damage amendments, is intended to give the Wyoming Game and Fish Department more incentive to lower elk numbers in areas where wapiti are overpopulated. The statute change would do so by sweetening compensation entitlement for ranchers who lose grass on rangeland to wildlife, offering them 150% of the market value.

But in Game and Fish Chief Warden Rick Kin...


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