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Phil Hart proposes wolf kills to go unpunished

BOISE — A North Idaho Republican says the state should not punish people who kill federally protected gray wolves.

Republican Rep. Phil Hart unveiled legislation Friday that would prohibit the state from investigating, arresting or prosecuting any person who kills a gray wolf in Idaho. The bill would also prohibit state employees from helping federal agencies arrest or prosecute someone who kills a gray wolf.

Under the proposed statute, first-time violators would face a $500 civil penalty.

Wolves in the Northern Rockies are listed as endangered under court order, but state and federal officials have been looking for ways to curb their population.

The House Resources and Conservation Committee decided to hold onto Hart’s bill amid concerns it could harm potential negotiations between governors in the Northern Rockies and the federal government over the status of gray wolves.

What do you think of Hart's plan?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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