Hunting. More of it and more exotic animals.

In the past week State Rep. David Taylor (R-15th, Klickitat and Skamania Counties) has proposed three bills that would open up more wolf hunting. He would like to void all state laws for wolf conservation (.pdf), reject the Department of Fish and Wildlife’s gray wolf conservation plan (.pdf), and require the Department of Health to conduct a study of the epidemiological consequences of diseases carried by wolves (.pdf). Taylor would also like to remove the requirement that first-time hunting license buyers complete a gun safety, conservation, and sportsmanship class—as long as they are over 21 (.pdf). State Rep. Brian Blake (D-19th, Pacific and Wahklakum Counties) proposes that the State make it legal to use dogs to hunt cougar (pdf). While Blake doesn’t technically represent a Central Washington district, this bill has support from a number of Central Washington reps, including Taylor, Bruce Chandler (R-15th), Mike Armstrong (R-12th, Wenatchee), Cary Condotta (R-12), and Bill Hinkle (R-13, Kittitas and Grant Counties). On the flip-side Blake would also like to make laws regarding the use of body-gripping traps (e.g., steel-jawed leg hold traps) more restrictive (.pdf and .pdf), which has support from Democrats, Republicans, animal lovers, and wild critters alike.