- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 19, 2016

OKANOGAN, Wash. (AP) - Washington state is giving ranchers $500,000 to buy extra hay after losses from 2015 wildfires.

The Capital Press reports (https://bit.ly/1S23AVI ) that the state Department of Ecology provided the money to Okanogan County ranchers affected by the fires.

Okanogan Conservation District Manager Craig T. Nelson says the money is a “godsend” for some but only meets one-sixth of the area’s need.

Nelson says local ranchers estimated in November that they would need $3 million to get through June or July of 2016.

He says people in the region are selling off livestock because of limited grazing.



Ron Schultz, policy director for the state’s Conservation Commission, says he’s never heard of states buying feed replacement before.

He says the idea was originally proposed to prevent interactions between cattle and wolves because of the loss of grazing ground.

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Information from: Capital Press, https://www.capitalpress.com/washington

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