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Is the cost of predator prevention holding you back from getting protection for your herd? If so the Livestock Loss Board (LLB) may be able to help you. The Montana LLB has a grant to aid producers in protecting their livestock from predation by bears, wolves and mountain lions. This grant is part of the Montana Livestock Loss Board’s two-part mission. They work to proactively apply prevention tools and incentives to decrease the risk of wolf, grizzly bear or mountain lion caused losses. They also provide financial reimbursements to producers for losses caused by wolves, grizzly bears or mountain lions.

The deadline is Jan. 31, but luckily the grant application is designed to be simple to complete. The producer just needs to complete a fill-in-the-blank application form. As long as the requested amount doesn’t exceed 10% of the value of the livestock being covered, the money can cover the cost for almost any wildlife attack prevention method. The grant can provide funding for guard dogs, food for guard dogs, electric fencing and hiring herders/range riders, along with other loss prevention methods.

You can find the application on the Montana Livestock Loss Board website (www.llb.mt.gov). From there you can fill out the PDF and save to your computer and then email it to George Edwards, the Executive Director of the program (gedwards@mt.gov ). You can also call the director for a paper version of the application if needed. If the applicant is someone other than the rancher, such as an organization helping a rancher apply, a second form is needed for the application. This extra form is also on the website.

We want to urge Blackfeet Nation ranchers to apply for these funds because of the high number of wildlife attacks on livestock on the reservation. The Blackfeet Reservation has the most reported livestock kills and injuries from grizzly bears compared to any county in the state. Based on the 2021 Wildlife Service Report for January through July, Glacier and Pondera saw 39% of all confirmed and probable grizzly attacks on livestock. Thirty-six of these attacks were in Glacier County alone making it the most hit county in the state. Pondera had 27 killed livestock this year. So, if you live in the Blackfeet Nation your animals are likely at risk. Thankfully George Edwards says that areas with high predation will have a priority for the grant so it is worth applying.

If you have any questions about this grant, please reach out to George Edwards gedwards@mt.gov 406-444-5609. You can also reach out to the Blackfeet Stock Growers Association if you need technical help with the application (downloading and filling out the PDF for example) blackfeetstockgrowers@gmail.com. Apply while there is still money available!

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