Over in Idaho, state lawmakers are looking to cut down on the amount of work state employees have to do. Awesome! Particularly, they don't want anyone on a state payroll to do anything related to wolves--and for some that means anything.
The Spokesman-Reviewreports that a bill introduced by Tea Party-backed Republican Rep. Phil Hart included language that would make it illegal for state employees to do work that relates to wolves "in any way."
That means the state could no longer do its annual wolf count, state wildlife experts couldn't mention wolves in their nature hikes, and if, God forbid, someone calls a state office to ask about wolves, the receptionist couldn't even acknowledge the question was asked.
As Sharon Kiefer of the Idaho Fish & Game Department notes:
[the bill would] penalize Fish & Game employees for referring wolf issues to federal authorities, which is their current procedure under the governor's order to turn wolf management back over to the feds. A Fish & Game receptionist would be penalized under the bill for referring a caller to the Fish & Wildlife Service. "That lady at the front desk, now you make her into a defendant," Kiefer told the committee.
Needless to say, the bill is a bit of a train-wreck. Thankfully, it was sent back to the drawing board for fixes.
Of course, the main thrust of what the Idaho Legislature is trying to do is its own strange beast.
Not satisfied with the 2010 order that wolf management be the responsibility of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the state wants to further declare that point by making it illegal for state employees to even entertain the idea of dealing with the creatures.
Thus, the state would not prosecute anyone for killing, poisoning, or otherwise harming the animals, referring all such actions to the federal government--because, after all, in a deep-red state like Idaho, giving up state authority to the feds is the name of the game, right?