Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Magic Of Roadkill

Plenty of vitamins, minerals, calories, and roughage, plus bits of glass and some gravel.

Who says we don't support outdoor recreation?

Wyoming is a state where people are known for living close to the ground. We're a no-nonsense sort of people here.

And, from the very beginning, we've supported the Continental Divide Trail. Without Wyoming's good, solid soil, that very same trail would collapse and fall into a deep hole.

It hasn't happened yet, and it's not going to.

We here in Wyoming fully support the Rocky Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains support us, our state, the Continental Divide Trail, and many other recreational activities such as skiing, sightseeing, and hunting traffic signs.

Yet, in these times of falling state revenues and budget shortfalls, we simply can't keep supporting each and every sport that's out there, and really - how many backpackers are there anyway? Twenty? Fifty? Fifty-three? Maybe fifty-four in a good year?

Not too many, though every now and then a local newspaper will feature one of these yokels tramping from Mexico to Canada and make it sound like a big thing. Especially those two or three oddballs every year who go from Canada to Mexico.

But where's the beef?

Your typical backpacker comes into town with two dollars in his pocket and spends 25 cents, and then vanishes forever in a cloud of dust, shed dandruff, and some stray armpit hairs, never to be seen again.

That is a luxury we can't really support any more.

Which is why I, Rep. Dan Z. Wuntit (R-Cheyenne) am proposing a bill.

House Bill 144 to be precise, which will institutionalize what is known among hiking riffraff as "Trail Magic".

The magic in my bill is to turn roadkill into nutritional meals for those rambling backpackers, allowing them to eat as much as they want so they can get the hell out of the State of Wyoming, and we can drop any and all support for any hiking or backpacking trail and such like.

I call it the "Eat It And Beat It Bill".

The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will provide licenses to any potential Road-Food Scrapers.

To qualify as an official Scraper, a person has to commit to "putting road-killed wildlife carcasses to a beneficial use," such as creating "Trail Magic", by turning crushed raccoons, ground squirrels, skunks, and rattlesnakes into meals for hikers.

Dumpster diving would also be a lawful source of hiker nibbles.

Which would lower the burden of municipal garbage collectors and reduce the amount of edible materials we now consign to landfills, turning those substances instead into high-energy body fuel for rangy, shiftless backpackers.

To those who claim that people may intentionally run down stray critters, claiming they were already roadkill, I say fine. Let 'em. We got too many varmints out there now.

Anyhow, to abuse the law would be to abuse your vehicle for the sake of a few hikers. Anyone taking on a steer or pronghorn will learn the true value of automobile repairs, so that will be self-limiting. And all our ranchers know how to shoot straight, further reducing the likelihood of plowing into livestock.

I say let's try this. Anything that can't get out of the way shouldn't be on the road to start with.

That goes for hikers too. The less we have to think about them the better.

This is Rep. Dan Z. Wuntit ("The man with a plan.") signing off.


Wyoming bill would legalize collecting roadkill for food