Oklahoma lawmaker: Wildlife belongs to 'Almighty God' - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Oklahoma lawmaker: Wildlife belongs to 'Almighty God'

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Oklahoma State Sen. Nathan Dahm has introduced a bill that would give God ownership of wildlife. (KTEN) Oklahoma State Sen. Nathan Dahm has introduced a bill that would give God ownership of wildlife. (KTEN)

ARDMORE, Okla. -- An Oklahoma Senate bill written clarify who owns wildlife in the state has some people scratching their heads.

State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) authored Senate Bill 1457, a single page which states: "All wildlife found in this state is the property of Almighty God."

Dahm claims the legislation could save the state money, and some people agree.

"He commanded us in the word that we are to be good stewards of everything that He has given us," Sandra Johnston said. 

"They belong to God, but they are here to serve man," Tony Heartman added. "I don't see how you could see any other way about it."

Dahm says the bill would keep Oklahoma from being held liable for accidents involving wildlife, like if you were to hit a deer with your car. He claims it would save the state money.

But Farmers Insurance agent Steven Russell said it doesn't work that way.

"I'm not sure it would help to classify anything differently, because it is still up to the consumer to purchase the correct coverage," he explained.

With some accidents involving wildlife, Russell said it can be considered an act of God because no person or animal is at fault.

But Sen. Dahm says wildlife is currently the property of the state, and his bill is meant to fix something that could potentially be a problem.

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife director J.D. Strong said this has never been a problem before, and the legislation likely wouldn't change anything.

"The Department of Wildlife has been around since 1909, and to my knowledge there has never been a successful case brought that charged the Department of Wildlife or the State of Oklahoma with damage caused by wildlife," he said.

Strong suggested that a better idea might be to clarify the way the bill is currently written, which is that wildlife is "owned by the state," but it actually means it is "owned by the people of the state."

Senate Bill 1457

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