Last week it was a law adopting the "Code of the West" as Oregon's official code of conduct - a code that included such truisms as "know where to draw the line" and was first laid out not by a buckaroo on a bunkhouse wall, but buy a former Wall Street investor. This week's unnecessary legislation award goes to Rep. Jean Cowan of Newport and the rest of her House cohorts who spent at least part of their day on Tuesday considering a piece of legislation that would make it illegal to feed dangerous animals, such as wolves, bears and cougars. OK, file this one in the "duh" category.
We thought at first the legislation was intended to protect these animals from being molested or poached, but nothing that rational is at work here. No, Cowan is trying to solve the not-so widespread problem of a single constituent who complained to Cowan that her neighbor is feeding bears and refuses to stop. (The bears allegedly ran through and damaged the woman's property looking for food when their honey mama was on vacation). Not an ideal situation perhaps, but one easily handled with a call to ODFW or a well placed round from 30-06. But what the heck? How about another obscure and difficult-to-enforce state law? WTF?