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House Bill 592 — Depredation

House Bill 592 — Depredation

Parrish Miller
February 21, 2024

Bill Description: House Bill 592 would create a "depredation of livestock and prevention fund" and authorize spending up to $150,000 per year to compensate validated claims for depredation and $75,000 per year for "conflict prevention and the provision of information."

Rating: -2

NOTE: House Bill 592 is similar to House Bill 485, introduced earlier this session.

Does it create, expand, or enlarge any agency, board, program, function, or activity of government? Conversely, does it eliminate or curtail the size or scope of government?

House Bill 592 would create Section 36-1121, Idaho Code, "to provide compensation to livestock owners that have experienced depredation of livestock by grizzly bear and wolves."

The bill would establish the "depredation of livestock and prevention fund" in the state treasury and obligate the Idaho Legislature to appropriate $225,000 annually to the fund. Of that appropriation, $150,000 would "be used annually to compensate validated claims for depredation" and $75,000 would be "used annually for conflict prevention and the provision of information regarding deterrents that have proven effective as determined pursuant to rule as promulgated by the Idaho state department of agriculture.”

This bill is similar to House Bill 485. The primary difference between the two is that HB 485 said the $75,000 would be "used annually for conflict prevention and education as determined by the office of species conservation."

"Any moneys in the fund after probable depredation claims are paid shall be carried over to the next calendar year. Interest accruing on moneys in the fund shall be retained in the fund. Moneys shall be continuously appropriated to the fund, but the fund shall not exceed four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000)."


Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

It is arguable that the proliferation of grizzly bear and wolves is largely due to government meddling in the affairs of nature and instituting regulations to prevent the elimination of such predators. Even so, there is no real justice in forcing taxpayers to subsidize the losses of ranchers or other business owners, or to make up for government misdeeds. 

There may be even less justification for the government to use taxpayer dollars promoting "conflict prevention" and "education" to property owners who would likely prefer to take direct action against the predators causing the depredation.


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