Money earmarked for wolves should go to education

Every penny counts when money is tight. That’s why the appearance of $300,000 in the Utah state budget to combat wolves–wolves that as of yet do not exist in Utah–seems particularly wasteful.

The money, requested by Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, would likely go to the same people (the only bidders, actually) who were awarded the money last year, Big Game Forever. The non-profit organization’s mission is built around keeping wolf populations at bay, presumably to ensure healthy populations of big game herds, like deer and elk.

But there are two problems with this earmark: first, there are no wolves in Utah, and it is unlikely there will be anytime soon. And second, co-founders Don Peay and Ryan Benson are two of Okerlund’s top donors.

It might not seem like a lot of money today, but $300K can still do a lot for a cash-strapped state like Utah. That money could be used for:

– 9 public education teacher salaries
– 911 Mini iPads
– 2,255 desks
– 3,750 science textbooks
– 10,384 school chairs
– 201,342 boxes of tissues
– 652,000 pencils

There are much better ways to spend $300,000.

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