The U.S. House passed legislation Thursday to extend lapsed disaster relief for ranchers, including those recovering from recent devastating wildfires in Eastern Oregon.
“As Eastern Oregon begins to recover from the largest wildfires in the state in more than 100 years, the House has acted today to extend disaster relief for ranchers," said Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore.
"The road to recovery will be long, and we still have a lot to do, but this plan will extend assistance to ranchers for loss of livestock and forage on private and public lands,” Walden said.
The legislation reauthorizes disaster assistance programs including Livestock Indemnity Payments (LIP), Livestock Forage Disaster Programs (LFP), and Emergency Assistance for Livestock (ELAP).
Assistance will be provided retroactively for losses incurred from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012 as a result of disaster, adverse weather, or other environmental circumstances.
It will also reimburse eligible ranchers for livestock losses due to attack by animals, such as wolves, reintroduced by the federal government.
These programs were part of the 2008 Farm Bill, but expired in 2011, requiring them to be reauthorized by Congress.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.