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Know the West

Governor shoots wolf bounty bill

  Wyoming Gov. Jim Geringer, a newly elected Republican, recently vetoed a bill that would have placed a $1,000 bounty on wolves shot outside Yellowstone National Park. The legislation would have authorized payment to hunters who shoot wolves outside the park and offered free legal defense for the hunters if prosecuted by federal agencies (HCN, 1/23/95). The governor said he agreed with the spirit of the bill, but believed it unconstitutional: "I fear for the citizens who in good faith would comply with the new law by killing a wolf only to be dealt a heavy blow through federal prosecution under the Endangered Species Act." An attempted override in the Legislature of Geringer's veto failed by a substantial margin Feb. 28.