Harwood withdraws road-kill bill

TUESDAY, FEB. 23, 2010, 2:32 P.M.

BOISE - St. Maries Rep. Dick Harwood today withdrew his bill to allow licensed Idaho hunters or trappers to retrieve road-killed carcasses.

“My intention with this bill was just to make it real simple, if you see a dead furbearer out on the road you could just pick it up,” Harwood told the House Resources Committee this afternoon. “I’ve had some e-mails that said I’m a terrible guy because I’m trying to pick up little furry animals and use them, and I got a lot from the conservation officers as well.”

Last week, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission voted unanimously to oppose the bill, out of concern over how it would affect enforcement efforts when people have an animal carcass and claim they found it on the road. Harwood’s bill would have allowed retrieval of road-killed fur-bearing animals, such as mountain lions, bears and bobcats, in or out of season.

Harwood said he heard proposals to change his bill that “would just reverse everything I was trying to do, pick up a little furbearer,” so he decided to just drop it. He asked the committee to let him withdraw it, and the panel agreed unanimously.

The fifth-term Republican said he proposed the bill after a constituent found a bobcat carcass in the road near his home, but Fish and Game told him he’d be subject to arrest if he took it. Harwood said such carcasses are valuable and shouldn’t go to waste; current Idaho law makes them state property.

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