Lawsuit aims to end commercial fur trapping in California

Dear Jim,

That was the headline of the Los Angeles Times article (“Lawsuit aims to end commercial fur trapping in California”) that featured our joint lawsuit with the Center for Biological Diversity last week when we sued the California Fish and Game Commission and the Department of Wildlife for improperly managing and illegally subsidizing the state’s commercial trapping program. Our suit argues that California law requires that the state’s costs of managing a commercial trapping program must be fully recovered through trapping license fees. As stated in the complaint and supporting exhibits, current license fees cover a small fraction of the trapping program costs; taxpayers are left to foot the bill for the shortfall. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article adds, “fees would have to be increased at least 10-fold to comply with the state law [and] such a fee boost wold effectively end the practice of trapping animals.”

The fee recovery mandate became effective in 2013, and the initial petition to force the agencies to comply with the mandate was filed almost two years ago, in December 2015. This was followed by months of effort by Project Coyote, CBD and allies to compel compliance. Because the Commission and the Department failed to act, we were forced to sue.

If successful, this lawsuit could set a nationwide precedent and presage the end of commercial trapping in California, as few trappers could likely afford the adjusted licensing fees. As I stated in the Los Angeles Times article regarding the lawsuit, “We hope the filing of this lawsuit will be remembered as the moment California said goodbye to the handful of people who still kill mammals so that their pelts can be auctioned off in foreign markets and then made into slippers and fur-trimmed coats.”

Many thanks to all who signed our Change.org Trapping Petitionwhich was yet another effort to compel the agencies to act in accordance with the law. We presented your signatures to the Commission and made our case bringing youth and educators with us through our Keeping It Wild Program to speak for California’s bobcats, coyotes, and foxes. Although that effort wasn’t successful in and of itself, it made a decisive statement that California’s citizens no longer support cruel and inhumane trapping in our state, and compelled us to proceed with the lawsuit.

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Urge City of Maumelle, Arkansas, to Stop Coyote Massacre!

The city of Maumelle, Arkansas, has reportedly decided to trap and kill coyotes with the misguided intent to control species numbers. A contractor hired by the city has reportedly set 10 steel-jaw and snare traps throughout the city, and victims will be killed. But lethal initiatives are 100 percent ineffective, as survivors simply breed in order to replace lost pack members while more coyotes move in from outlying areas for the available resources. And amazingly, news sources indicate that city officials are touting these traps as “humane”! However, animals caught in these traps (including the padded or rubber-coated variety) sustain horrific injuries in their frantic attempts to escape—even chewing or twisting off their own limbs. Killing also tears wild families apart, leaving orphaned young to starve, and traps endanger companion animals as well as protected wildlife. PETA has apprised Maumelle officials of the cruelty and futility of this plan and provided details regarding humane coyote control, but now it’s your turn.

Please contact the Maumelle mayor and city council and politely urge them to reverse this decision. Then forward this alert to everyone you know.

Take Action Now!

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Please Sign on for 24 hour Mandated Trap Checks!

Will you please add your name to a letter, that our friend, Zack Strong, of NRDC, so diligently compiled, insisting Montana implement a 24 hour mandated trap check time period?

Montanans, in particular, are asked to sign as FWP continually emphasizes out of state comments as if Montanans don’t care!

Simply reply to this alert and provide:

  • your name
  • your town and state

Also requested, but not required:

  • your occupation, especially if in wildlife, animal, or science related professions

We will then see that you are included on the letter to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks before the deadline for the 2017 Trapping Proposals

Please reply before July 13!

Feel free to pass this on so others can sign on, too! A very big thank you, to Zack, for his dedication and persistence!

Everyone, PLEASE don’t forget to submit your comment on ALL the Montana 2017 trapping proposals before the July 16 5pm mst deadline.

Griz with trap on foot still hasn’t been found

Humane Society, Wyoming Untrapped urge state investigation.

  • By Mike Koshmrl
  • Jun 21, 2017

A national animal rights organization has jumped into the fray of what to do about a grizzly bear that’s been spotted in Teton County with a Conibear-style trap clamped onto its front paw.

The Humane Society of the United States, fearing for the animal’s ability to forage and get around, has sent a letter formally asking federal and state wildlife managers for an investigation.

“We want them to locate the bear, anesthetize it, get the trap off and treat it,” Wendy Keefover, the society’s carnivore protection manager, said in an interview. “And then secondarily, we would like both agencies to investigate the trapping. Grizzly bears right now cannot be legally trapped, even inadvertently, under the Endangered Species Act.”

The grizzly in the grip of the steel spring-loaded trap was photographed May 31 on Togwotee Pass traversing a large snowfield.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department — a state agency that anticipates soon managing grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone region — dispatched biologists to locate the animal the day the report came in, large carnivore manager Dan Thompson said Monday. Search efforts are ongoing but have been unsuccessful so far, he said.

“Not including myself, at least three people have put in about 50 hours on the ground looking for this animal,” Thompson said. “And I’ve spent countless hours responding to email and phone call allegations that we haven’t been looking.”

Game and Fish personnel were unable to locate the bear’s tracks after the sighting, Thompson said. Capturing the bear in a culvert trap wasn’t a viable option, he said, because of its remote location and persistent snow.

Keefover worried that the bear would not be able to take the trap off on its own and could lose part of its paw, or get a sepsis infection and die.

“I know people whose dogs have got into Conibears, and they can’t open them with two hands and two feet,” she said. “So to presume a bear could get one off is not reasonable.”

Thompson had a different opinion.

“I think there’s a high likelihood that the bear has since removed that trap, because it was a smaller trap,” he said. “As strong as bears are, I would expect a grizzly to be able to remove it, I would think.”

The Jackson Hole group Wyoming Untrapped acquired a photo of the caught grizzly from Game and Fish using a public records request after the agency declined to release the image.

Reviewing the photograph the organization’s staff says that the trap connected to the bruin’s paw is a 220-style Conibear. It’s a device that is commonly used to trap raccoon, skunk, fisher, bobcat, lynx and similar-size furbearers, according to TrappingToday.com. It’s designed to grip animals tightly by the body and kill swiftly.

Lisa Robertson, Wyoming Untrapped’s founder, urged state managers to intensify their investigation.

“We ought to seek the source of this possibly illegal trap and treat it like we would poaching,” Robertson said. “Trapping incidents are mostly pushed under the radar. I think that’s why we were not notified — we just found out from a concerned citizen.”

Wyoming Untrapped plans to distribute fliers around Jackson notifying residents and visitors of the grizzly that may still be in a Conibear trap.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067, env@jhnewsandguide.com or @JHNGenviro.

Grizzly on Togwotee is seen dragging trap

Wildlife managers are so far unable to locate the wounded animal.

.
<http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/jackson_hole_daily/local/grizzly-on-togwotee
is-seen-dragging-trap/article_3a7bfb9b-372c-54b4-843c-7525931dba5d.html?mode
=story

A grizzly bear has been photographed on the loose near the top of Togwotee Pass with a Conibear-style furbearer trap clamped to its paw.

While it’s unknown how long the bruin has been hobbled by the steel contraption, a photograph of the bear was passed along to Wyoming Game and Fish on May 31.

Moran resident and videographer Jim Laybourn is one person who has viewed the image of the caught bear, having run into a Dubois couple shortly after they snapped the photo.

“It’s firmly attached, most of the way up its paw, and there’s no way that it’s going to get it off,” Laybourn said. “It’s really disgusting to think about that animal struggling with the trap. It’s going to be a tough existence.”

Dan Thompson, Game and Fish’s large carnivore supervisor, was more optimistic that the grizzly would be able to free itself.

“I think there’s a high likelihood that the bear has since removed that trap, because it was a smaller trap,” Thompson said. “As strong as bears are, I would expect a grizzly to be able to remove it, I would think.”

Game and Fish personnel are monitoring the situation “vigilantly,” he said, but they have not laid eyes on the animal. If it is located, the bear will be immobilized and the trap removed.

The Dubois residents who photographed and reported the trapped bear, rumored to be a boar, declined to be interviewed for this story when reached through their employers at Jackson Hole Airport.

The couple, Laybourn said, were shaken up.

“I could tell by their reaction that it was really emotional for them,” he said. “They felt horrible about that bear, and I imagine I would, too.”

The Conibear trap observed on the grizzly’s paw is a quick-kill device that typically is used to trap beavers, muskrats and pine marten — all species that are not in season in Wyoming. Trapping of species classified as predators, such as red fox and coyote, is allowed throughout the year.

Employees of Wyoming Untrapped, a group that advocates for trapping reform, said the incident is evidence of the need for trapping bans in grizzly country.

“It’s frustrating that an endangered species has been caught and now we can’t find it,” said Kristin Combs, Wyoming Untrapped’s program director.

“It’s an example of why trapping is so indiscriminate and doesn’t have a place in modern wildlife management,” she said. “Now there’s a poor grizzly bear out there with a trap on its paw.”

 

BC Govt Plans a New Independent Wildlife Agency Managed by Guide Outfitters, Trophy Hunters, Trappers

Valhalla Wilderness Society

Box 329, New Denver, British Columbia, Canada V0G 1S0
Phone: (250) 358-2333, Fax: (250) 358-2748, E-mail: vws@vws.org, Web: http://www.vws.org

18 May 2017
Call for action

BC Government wants to establish a new independent wildlife agency managed by hunters, trappers and guide outfitters Valhalla Wilderness Society was appalled when the BC government announced in late March that it intends to establish a new independent wildlife agency (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017FLNR0037-000783 ) “as part of its long-standing commitment to healthy wildlife populations.” The proposed “independent” agency is a thinly disguised attempt by the BC government to privatize wildlife management. Equally concerning and outrageous is that this agency was cooked up with at least the following 5 organizations, the BC Wildlife Federation, the BC Guide Outfitters Association, the BC Trappers Association, the Wild Sheep Society of BC and the Wildlife Stewardship Council with whom the BC government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). These organizations whose members include hunters, trappers and guide outfitters who guide (trophy) hunters fully support the proposed agency whose mandate appears ironically to be “the growth of wildlife in British Columbia.”

At the announcement, Bill Bennett, then MLA East Kootenay and Minister of Mines and Energy,
explained the need for a new agency as follows: “Government is afraid to manage wolves, for example,are afraid to manage grizzly bears in some cases because of the politics of that. Hopefully, an agency that is separate from government can make decisions that are in the best long-term interest of wildlife and just forget about the politics and do what is best for the animals.”

http://www.summit107.com/news/east-kootenay-news/new-independent-wildlife-group-to-takeover-

bc-government-operations/. Bill Bennett has left BC enough of a devastating legacy with the
Mount Polley mine tailing pond failure which continues to pollute Quesnel Lake.
2
The past president of the BC Wildlife Federation welcomed the announcement of the proposed agency by stating: “I think it’ll put more positive aspect into managing wildlife and getting away from the precautionary principles and get back to real numbers and managing wildlife the way it should be.” The government press release reports that the proposed agency will be funded with start-up funds of $5 million but “subsequently would be supported by hunting licence revenues of $9 million to $10 million each year.”
Valhalla Wilderness Society calls on all members to express their opposition to this outrageous scheme to not only privatize wildlife management in BC but to place it in the hands of hunters, trappers and guide outfitters. Notwithstanding the poor job the BC government has been doing in terms of “growing wildlife”, wildlife should be managed by government. The above-mentioned special interest groups lack the technical expertise to make wildlife decisions based on scientific evidence and are even unwilling to apply the precautionary principle, which- in the face of climate change -, is needed more than ever. The proposed agency can not be held accountable to the public like an elected government, especially as agency members will no doubt be gagged by mandatory confidentiality agreements. Nor can it be bound by the domestic and international legal obligations, such as the Canada-BC Species at Risk Agreement, that bind the Province directly or indirectly through the federal government`s signing of international legal treaties.
The proposed agency does not represent the majority of British Columbians and the fake “public
consultation” process that the BC government has set aside $200,000 for when the mandate,
stakeholders and funding have already been decided is an utter waste of tax payers’ money. Wild
management should not be reduced to the management of species which hunters, trappers and guide outfitters’ clients like to kill: a broad ecosystem approach is needed to ensure that BC’s “wildlife grows” and their habitat is protected. Last but not least, funding for wildlife management should not be contingent on hunting license revenue or on other funding from special interest groups. Please take the time to email John Horgan, leader of the NDP, Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party, and Christy Clark, leader of the BC Liberals, demanding that:
 this proposed agency be shelved and the MOU terminated with immediate effect. Wildlife
management must remain the responsibility of the BC government;
 all wildlife management decisions by government must be made on the basis of scientific evidence guided by the precautionary principle and on a broad ecosystem level, which would automatically remove politics from the decision-making process the $200,000 set aside for so-called “public” consultation on this proposed agency whose establishment has been set in motion by special interest groups be used for restoration of mountain caribou habitat;
documents and meeting minutes with the above-mentioned organizations and others involved in
the establishment of this proposed agency be immediately released to the public.

Contact details:
John Horgan, NDP Party leader
Room 201, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250 387-3655
Email: oppositionleader@leg.bc.ca
Andrew Weaver, Green Party leader and MLA
Room 027C, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250-387-8347
Email: andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca
Christy Clark, BC Liberal leader
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250-387-1715
Email: Christy.clark.mla@leg.bc.ca

SB236 Trapping Bill Hearing in MT House Committee

From: Friends of Trap Free Montana Public Lands

If SB236 passes in this committee, it will go before the whole Montana House of Representatives. In order for SB236 to get on the ballot as a constitutional amendment, Senator Fielder will now need 70 of the 100 Representatives to vote for it.

SB236 reads as follows:

THE CITIZENS OF MONTANA HAVE THE RIGHT TO HUNT, FISH, TRAP, AND HARVEST WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE, INCLUDING THE USE OF CUSTOMARY MEANS AND METHODS. HUNTING, FISHING, AND TRAPPING BY CITIZENS IS THE PREFERRED MANNER OF MANAGING WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE AND IS SUBJECT TO NECESSARY AND PROPER MANAGEMENT AND CONSERVATION STATUTES ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE AND REGULATORY AUTHORITY DELEGATED BY THE LEGISLATURE TO A DESIGNATED PUBLIC AGENCY OR COMMISSION. THE RIGHT TO HARVEST WILD FISH AND WILDLIFE IS A HERITAGE THAT SHALL FOREVER BE PRESERVED TO THE INDIVIDUAL CITIZENS OF THE STATE AND DOES NOT CREATE A RIGHT TO TRESPASS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY OR A DIMINUTION OF OTHER PRIVATE RIGHTS.”

•    Amending our constitution should not be taken lightly or rushed.

•    The purpose of this bill is  to enshrine trapping into our constitution. In 2004, we overwhelmingly voted to add to our Montana constitution the opportunity to preserve hunting and fishing forever more.

•    Requiring the preferred method for wildlife management to be hunting, fishing and trapping shuts out the non-consumptive wildlife user. Wildlife watching is a significant financial contributor to our economy from residents and visitors, alike.

•    The bill negates respectful coexistence, implementation of preventative non-lethal management tools and the intrinsic value and management needs for ALL wildlife.

•    The goal of this bill is to eliminate any wildlife ballot initiatives and put the legislature in charge of wildlife and for them to determine who then manages wildlife.

•    The intent of this bill is to put wildlife management further into the secreted hands of trappers rather than Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists.

•    The motivation of this bill is consistent to Senator’s Fielder’s position on seizing control of our public lands.

Like Senator Fielder and her allie’s goal for our public lands, the goal of SB236 is not for the greater good or for wildlife. It’s for the control, personal gain and exploitation of them both.

Trapping uses lures, bait and takes advantage of animal’s basic needs for shelter, water, territory. In the same vein, SB236 attempts to lure supporters in.

Those that oppose are criticized including Democrats, our Governor and the wildlife managing agency, FWP. Regarding the Senate vote on SB236:

“I think they were under orders not to vote for it. Orders probably coming out of the governor’s office because his office and Montana Fish Wildlife and parks are lobbying hard against it to keep this issue from coming before the voters.”  ~ Senator Fielder

For the record, 2 Republicans voted against SB236 in the Senate. We thank them and all who did, for whatever reasoning, they were right to do so!

Petition: Setting A Bear Trap

MAR 27, 2017 — Watch as we set off a large bear trap and show just how barbaric these devices truly are .

Please keep sharing our petition and make your voice heard.

https://www.change.org/p/urge-president-trump-to-keep-protections-in-alaska-s-refuges/u/19835423?utm_medium=email&utm_source=49788&utm_campaign=petition_update&sfmc_tk=oaBgxvdiP59gcWpbzPpWk2XoacEu2Nr8E8nGwlHzYTdZgvECEmuDRGG3dJhnPhaJ

Coyote Refused To Give Up On Mate Caught In Trap

Brooks Fahy has been working for decades to save wild animals from painful traps — and while he has seen hundreds of sad cases, there’s one coyote he’ll never forget.

Fahy, who is the executive director of the nonprofit Predator Defense, received a call from a concerned citizen about an animal caught in a trap. After scouring the Oregon woods, he found the young coyote — his leg was badly pinched in a leghold trap.

Brooks Fahy/Predator Defense

“When I walked up on that coyote, he looked at me and then he looked down, like he was ready to accept his fate,” Fahy told The Dodo.

Animals caught in traps can wait days before they’re found and killed — sometimes for their meat or fur, other times just for recreation. Some animals caught in traps try to gnaw off their own limbs out of desperation. “Traps are notoriously nonselective, whether it’s an M44, a neck snare, a leghold trap, any animal that comes along could get caught,” Fahy said. Endangered species and even people’s beloved dogs can be injured or even killed because of indiscriminate traps.

The trap was set out by Wildlife Services, a branch of the USDA that kills tens of thousands of coyotes each year by trapping, shooting, snaring and poisoning them.

Warning: Graphic image below

The coyote Fahy found seemed to be determined to stay alive. There were some puddles of melted snow near him, which he appeared to have been drinking from, Fahy said: “He had been in the trap a long time, a week minimum.”

Fahy also noticed a branch sticking up out of the ground beside him that was all chewed up.

“He’d been gnawing on it to relieve the pain,” Fahy said.

As Fahy got closer, he noticed paw prints in the ground and the vestiges of smaller animals. “There were these small bones around him — we realized that a mate was bringing him food,” Fahy remembers. “It’s gut-wrenching. It haunts me to this day.”

Fahy did everything he could to save the 2-year-old coyote’s life. Except for his terrible injury, he appeared healthy. “He was in his prime,” Fahy said.

But the coyote’s foot was completely ruined — the bones were jutting out through his skin. And the animal appeared to be exhausted from trying to survive. “When I picked him up and wrapped him in a blanket, I felt him completely relax in my arms,” Fahy said. “He had nothing left.”

Brooks Fahy/Predator Defense

Fahy carried the young coyote a mile to his truck and then drove him to see a veterinarian. Sadly, the coyote was just in too much pain, so Brooks held him while the veterinarian euthanized him with an injection.

“I’ve dealt with hundreds of trapping cases. I’ve seen animals who have lost their teeth because they’re gnawing so hard on the trap, I’ve seen it all,” Brooks said. “But I think of this coyote every day.”

Fahy holds the coyote as he’s being euthanized.Brooks Fahy/Predator Defense

This coyote died in 1992. “Virtually nothing has changed,” Fahy said. “If anything, it’s gotten worse.”

Hundreds of thousands of coyotes like him have been killed since then, many of them by these painful traps. In 2016 alone, Wildlife Services killed 76,963 adult coyotes; over 19,000 of them were killed by leghold traps, foothold traps, leg snares and neck snares. And that doesn’t even count how many coyotes and other animals were killed through trapping by private citizens.

“The brutality of these traps cannot be overstated,” Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA, said in a statement. “Steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps slam shut with bone-crushing force, causing massive injury and trauma. Animals trapped in strangulation neck snares — designed to tighten around an animal’s neck as he or she struggles — also suffer in extreme agony for an unconscionable amount of time.”

“Steel-jaw leghold traps, snares, and Conibear traps can cause massive pain, injury and even death to anyone who crosses its path,” Jennifer Place, a program associate at Born Free USA who specializes in trapping issues, told The Dodo. “We have seen it happen too many times: a mountain lion cub caught in a leghold trap; a dog who breaks her teeth to the gum line in her panic to free herself from a trap; a boy rushed to the ER with a Conibear trap on his arm; a young man getting ensnared in a Conibear trap set near a park playground. These traps are cruel, archaic and terrifyingly indiscriminate, and they can be found anywhere.”

There are bills in the U.S. House of Representatives that could finally put some limits on trapping, Place added, like the Refuge from Cruel Trapping Act (H.R. 1438), which seeks to ban leghold traps and body traps in national wildlife refuges. “It is time to stop the further spread and use of these brutal devices,” she said.

Another bill introduced to the House this month is the Public Safety and Wildlife Protection Act (H.R. 1629), which aims to ban the import, export and interstate commerce of steel-jaw leghold traps and Conibear traps, the two most widely used traps in the U.S. And it’s expected that the Limiting Inhumane Federal Trapping (LIFT) for Public Safety Act, which seeks to ban traps on federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior and Wildlife Services, will be reintroduced.

People who have been fighting trapping for years are hopeful that some of the suffering could soon come to an end — but the public needs to know about what’s going on and to speak up for these animals.

“I’ve been doing this work for 40 years and I never cease to be amazed that this is still going on,” Fahy said. “We know through science that these species are self-regulating. It’s time we evolve as a society and stop thinking of animals as natural resources. It’s important for us to empathize with these animals, to feel the loneliness of an animal caught in a trap. They feel pain. They suffer. They want to live.”

To help save animals from suffering in traps, you can call your representatives and urge them to support these bills, or you can write to them about H.R. 1629 and H.R. 1438. You can also donate to Predator Defense.

Stop Montana Senate Bill 236

For once the NRB listened to the citizens. There is a first time for everything.

Your immediate action is needed to stop Montana Senate Bill 236 that will make trapping permanently protected in our Montana Constitution

  • A public Committee hearing on Senate Bill SB236 will be held this Thursday, 2/16.
  • Our hope is to kill SB236 in Committee by urging Committee members to vote against the bill.   
  • If the Committee passes SB236, the bill will go to the full Senate for a vote, after which it will need approval from 2/3 of the legislature to send it to the Montana voters in 2018 to change the MT Constitution.
  • Trappers have unlimited out-of-state funds to sway voters during a campaign.  We can’t let that happen.

How to Help:

  • Testify in person against SB236 in the Senate Fish & Game Committee.
    • We need as many anti-trapping people in the Committee chamber as possible.
    • Please let us know if you can be at the hearing (Th, 3PM, Capitol Bldg. Rm. 422).
    • We will provide pointers on how to testify effectively.
    • We may be able to arrange carpooling.
  • Email Senators on the Committee and urge them to VOTE NO on SB236.
    • Use links and reasons to VOTE NO provided below.
    • Please let us know whom you have emailed so we can track feedback given to the Committee.
    • If possible, please forward copies of your emails to us.
  • Call Senators on the Committee and urge them to VOTE NO on SB236.
    • Please let us know whom you have called so we can track feedback given to the Committee.
  • Call the Capitol receptionist (406-444-4800) and ask that they tell each member of the Senate Fish & Game Committee to VOTE NO on SB236.
  • Share this information with others who want to prevent enshrining trapping in the MT Constitution.

Senate Fish & Game Committee
Meets:  Tu & Thurs, 3PM, Helena, Capitol Bldg., Rm 422
JILL COHENOUR (D)
, E. Helena, 406-227-1144; sen.jill.cohenour@mt.gov
TOM FACEY (D)
, Missoula, 406-240-4242; tfacey@mt.gov
*JENNIFER FIELDER (R), Thompson Falls, sen.jennifer.fielder@mt.gov
STEVE HINEBAUCH (R)
, Wibaux, 406-365-7967; sen.steve.hinebauch@mt.gov
JEDEDIAH HINKLE (R)
, Belgrade, 406-585-0722; sen.jedediah.hinkle@mt.gov
DAVID HOWARD (R)
, Park City, 406-633-2762; sendavidhoward@gmail.com
EDIE MCCLAFFERTY (D)
, Butte, 406-490-5873; edie.mcclafferty@gmail.com
MIKE PHILLIPS (D)
, Bozeman, 406-599-5857; mikephillips@montana.com
CARY L SMITH (R)
, Billings, 406-698-9307; sen.cary.smith@mt.gov
CHAS V VINCENT (R)
, Libby, 406-293-1575; cvvincent@hotmail.com
JEFFREY WELBORN (R)
, Dillon, 406-949-6070; jeffwelborn@hotmail.com
*Bill Sponsor

TALKING POINTS to help your testimony and messages.  Select one or two points and personalize your message to be most effective.

1.  Hunting and fishing are already protected in the Constitution.  This repetitive amendment clutters the Constitution with detailed activities.  We can’t add and don’t need amendments to protect each and every type of sport or employment.

2.  Trapping is managed as recreation.  Why not just resolve to protect recreation in MT rather than mess with the Constitution?  This was suggested in South Dakota when legislators killed a similar bill.

3.  Trapping does not provide “life’s basic necessities.”  Trappers made a profit of $56,000 last season and reported harvesting more than 50,000 animals.  That makes trapping a net loss with the associated costs of gas and equipment.  A handful of people in Montana pursue trapping for their livelihood.  In fact, trappers resist a mandatory trap-check time because they have jobs.

4.  Enshrining trapping in the Constitution can severely harm the state’s economy.  Lynx, wolverine, fishers and pine martens are severely depleted species, largely due to trapping.  Lynx are already on the endangered list, soon to be followed by wolverine and fishers.  This type of listing shuts down industry on our public lands.  Timber projects have been halted in the Gallatin, Kootenai and Custer National Forests to protect the endangered lynx.   

PLEASE TAKE ACTION ON THIS BILL.  WE CANNOT LET TRAPPING BECOME A PERMANENT FEATURE OF MONTANA, HARMING OUR WILDLIFE, OUR SAFETY, ECONOMY AND REPUTATION.   THANK YOU!

Montanans for Trapping Reform & Safe Public Lands (MTR)
a legislative action group of Footloose Montana
montanans.trapping.reform@gmail.com
406-549-4647