Under House Bill 143, a letter providing prior authorization would be available to an individual or entity committed to putting the carcass to beneficial use.
According to the bill, a scientific or educational collecting permit could be issued for a specific species. Otherwise, a donation certificate would be required prior to taking a carcass, or the donation certificate might be permissible after the carcass was collected. A donation certificate might require the individual to present the carcass for inspection.
The bill was introduced Jan. 14 by Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, R-Cheyenne, and referred to the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Joint Interim Committee.
“We don’t see any harm in the idea,” said Cody Beers, Wyoming Department of Transportation spokesman.
The department is responsible for disposing of carcasses along the highways. The department’s only concern is that folks parking next to the highway to recover a carcass are not injured. For safety’s sake, motorists are encouraged not to stop along highways. Parked vehicles along the road also are distractions for other motorists, Beers said.
Other states allow their citizens to salvage wildlife hit by vehicles. “I personally wouldn’t do it, but I wouldn’t discourage someone from doing it to put some food on the table,” Beers said.
The bill would not allow people to take home bighorn sheep, birds under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and federal threatened or endangered species that people are prohibited from possessing under federal or state statutes or regulations.
The bill passed its second reading in the House on Wednesday.