From Ramón S. Hobdey-Sánchez, ITD Governmental Affairs
As many of you know, employees from across the entire Department have been in overdrive as the 2018 Idaho Legislature is in session. Yes, there have been some late nights and a bit of internal anguish as we try to decipher the impacts of all the ideas gernerated from downtown. However, hidden underneath, there are some real gems.
I present to you House Bill 477, sponsored by Representative Mike Moyle, from District 14 (Star, Idaho). Many of you will recall, especially our colleagues out in the field, that in 2012, there were some changes to Idaho Fish and Game’s administrative rules regarding roadkill. These new rule changes allowed for the salvage of roadkill. I am told that many of our maintenance crews really supported this change, as it drastically decreased the number of carcasses that ITD personnel have to remove from the Idaho Highway System.
Well, if HB477 successfully passes, then there may be even fewer carcasses littering our beautiful highways. HB477 proposes a brand new section of law to allow a person who “unintentionally strikes unprotected wildlife on a roadway with a vehicle, leaving the animal severely injured…[to] immediately thereafter dispatch the severely injured animal and may salvage the meat.” Yep, you read that right. If you happen to slam into a whitetail or get a pheasant caught in the grill of your Duramax, you’d now have the right to “dispatch” that animal accordingly.
The bill being proposed by the good gentleman from 14 seems surprisingly simple and straight-forward, but curious minds want to know — what qualifies as “severely injured” and what does “dispatch” include? That’s not exactly clear.
But, what I can tell you is that our Communication TEAM is eager to see this bill succeed and go into effect; as they can only begin to imagine all of the delightful stories for future Transporter articles, submitted by our road crews, of people on the side of the highway killing, mauling and finishing-off the “severely injured,” soon-to-be roadkill.