Cheyenne, Wyo. – Wyoming ranchers and hunters fed up with wolves attacking livestock and other wildlife would be able to shoot the predators on sight in most of the state under a tentative agreement state and federal officials announced Wednesday.
Gov. Matt Mead and U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said they’ve come to terms over how to end federal protections for wolves in Wyoming – the last state in the Northern Rockies where wolves remain under federal management.
While some neighboring states intend to allow licensed hunters to kill wolves at certain times of the year, Wyoming would be the only one to let people shoot wolves in most of the state year-round without a license.
Environmentalists swiftly blasted the deal, saying it offers wolves too little protection and would fail judicial review unless Congress approves pending language to insulate it from legal challenges.
Mead said state management of wolves is overdue in Wyoming, where many say the animals have taken a heavy toll on other animals since they were reintroduced in the 1990s.
Wu resigns from Congress
Washington – Democratic Rep. David Wu of Oregon resigned his seat late Wednesday, making him the fourth member of Congress to quit this year in the wake of a sex scandal.
Wu, 56, already had announced his intention to resign after his hometown paper, the Oregonian, published allegations that he had an unwanted sexual encounter with an 18-year-old woman.
Wu made his resignation official in a handwritten letter to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. The resignation will set off a spirited special election for Wu’s congressional seat. Kitzhaber called a primary election on Nov. 8 and a general election on Jan. 31 to choose a replacement for Wu.
Democratic officials say they are confident they will retain Wu’s congressional seat. The Portland-based district leans strongly Democratic.