Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 76° Clear
News >  Spokane

Wyoming Legislators Propose Bounty On Wolves

Associated Press

A week after wolves returned to Yellowstone National Park, a Wyoming House committee decided Thursday to put a $500 bounty on wolves that wander outside the park.

The bill also would require Wyoming to foot the lawyer bill for anyone charged with violating the Endangered Species Act for killing a wolf.

Rep. Roger Huckfeldt, R-Torrington, the sponsor of HB13, said the bill probably violates federal law and encourages wolfkilling, but the House Agriculture Committee passed it anyway, 8-1.

The committee also passed a resolution asking Congress to allow the hunting of wolves outside Yellowstone National Park.

Bill Gentle, director of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture, told the committee he appreciated the sentiment behind the wolf bounty and believes it sends a message about how Wyoming feels about wolves in Yellowstone.

“But I do think it’s important for anybody that if they shoot a wolf and are dumb enough to bring it to us and collect a bounty, they’re going to lose,” he said. “They’re going to be prosecuted and probably going to lose.”

Larry Bourret of the Wyoming Farm Bureau called the bill important because wolf reintroduction laws only allow wolves to be killed outside the park if the animals are caught “in mid-bite” attacking livestock.

Hunter Bill Yanacone of Cheyenne said maybe Wyoming should forget the bill and handle the situation as some Minnesotans recently did when three radio-collared wolves were killed in that state.

“In Minnesota, they have the three ‘S’s - shoot, shovel and shut up - and maybe that’s what we’ll do,” he said.

Rep. Carolyn Paseneaux, R-Casper, called the Endangered Species Act “a case of a law run amok.”

“We as legislators in Wyoming need to say our state is important, our citizens are important, our customs and culture is important,” she testified.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.