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Barrasso Vows to Protect Ranchers from Wolves


July 7, 2008


Next week Sen. John Barrasso will try to help reduce local livestock losses to wolves.

Barrasso and Sen. John Tester, D-Mont., have introduced legislation for the federal government to pay ranchers in Wyoming and Montana for livestock killed by wolves.

“We realize this is our issue and we worked together to draft this bill,” Barrasso said. “There will be hearings conducted and we hope to move this bipartisan effort through the Senate.”

Barrasso said when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced the gray wolf to the northern Rockies, one of their promises was to not hurt ranches and big game hunting.

“This was the federal government’s idea to bring the wolf back and most people were against it,” he said. “I want to hold them to the promises that were made when the wolf came back.”

Barrasso and his wife Bobbi were in Cody on Thursday for the Stampede Parade. 

He is celebrating the end of his first year in the Senate after replacing the late Craig Thomas in June 2007.

“It’s been fascinating to be in Washington,” Barrasso said.  “We were talking during the parade about how everything has changed for us.”

Barrasso enjoys visiting Cody because of the strong ties he formed during the past years.

“When you look at how the community worked with the state and federal branches to keep Sylvan Pass open, it’s so encouraging,” he said. “We did everything we could in Washington while the local group pressed the Park Service.”

“That’s one of the real success stories during the past year,” he added. “It shows what happens when a community is serious about something and puts all its effort into it.”

Barrasso has been able to keep one of the promises he made when he was selected to replace Thomas – work in Washington but continue to live in Wyoming.

“We’ve kept our home here because our youngest daughter is still in high school,” he said. “Bobbi stays here with her and I commute home each weekend.

“It’s how you don’t become one of them,” he added. “And I’m proud to say despite the commute, I haven’t missed a single vote on the Senate floor.”

Barrasso is serving on the Senate Energy Committee.

“There’s been a Wyoming person on this committee since 1898,” he said. “It makes sense because Wyoming provides so much energy for the rest of the country and we need to make sure our interests are looked after.”

Barrasso, an orthopedic surgeon, said it would make more sense for him to have Sen. Mike Enzi’s spot on the health committee, but knows that won’t happen.

“Mike would be a better choice for the energy spot because of his background in that area,” Barrasso said. “But if Mike gave up his seat on the health committee he would lose that seniority.

“The committee spots are precious and when you have one, you need to hang on to it,” he added.

Barrasso faces re-election in November.

“I’m looking forward to the campaign,” he said. “I plan to keep working hard for the people of Wyoming and watching out for their needs.

Wyoming has long provided independent, effective leadership in Washington.”

-- Published by the Cody Enterprise on July 22, 2008.

 






July 2008 News Clips