PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE….June 30, 2016
The Montana Trap-Free Public Lands Initiative, I-177, has qualified for the November 8, 2016 ballot. Montana Trap-Free Public Lands is a ballot initiative committee based in Missoula and supported by volunteer coordinators statewide. Volunteer and hired signature gatherers gathered more than 24,175 qualified signatures required for the ballot.
Members of Footloose Montana, a non-profit corporation supporting trap-free public lands, formed the ballot initiative committee.
Montana Trap-Free Public Lands missed qualifying a similar initiative in 2010 by about 1,500 signatures. I-177 will end commercial and recreational trapping on public lands. People, pets and wildlife will be free of indiscriminate, hidden and baited traps.
Trapping to protect livestock and property, for health and safety will continue if non-lethal methods have tried and failed. Trapping for wildlife management such as reintroduction and medical needs are allowed in I-177.
The Attorney General’s summary of I-177:
I-177 generally prohibits the use of traps and snares for animals on any public lands within Montana and establishes misdemeanor criminal penalties for violations of the trapping prohibitions. I-177 allows the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to use certain traps on public land when necessary if nonlethal methods have been tried and found ineffective. I-177 allows trapping by public employees and their agents to protect public health and safety, protect livestock and property, or conduct specified scientific and wildlife management activities. I-177, if passed by the electorate, will become effective immediately.