Governor praises Ore. wolf compensation bill

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill to pay ranchers for livestock lost to wolves.

Gov. John Kitzhaber praised the unanimous vote in the Senate on Friday, saying it represents an historic agreement between ranchers, conservation groups and rural communities to make room for wolves in Oregon.

House Bill 3560 creates a $100,000 fund for counties to deal with attacks on livestock by wolves, which moved into Oregon from Idaho and have now formed at least two packs producing young. Part of the money goes to non-lethal measures to protect livestock, but most of it will pay ranchers for cattle and sheep losses.

Wolves hit a high of 24 individuals in Oregon, but have since fallen to 14 known individuals in the northeastern corner of the state.