Trapping, the barbaric “sport”

Wolf Advocates Warn U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of Coming Lawsuit
When the Montana FWPs is offering five tags to every wolf hunter and Idaho Fish and Game is putting sharpshooters in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and funding aerial gunning in the Lolo Zone, we feel renewing protection is needed
**Extra Links Included** ‪#‎SaveWolves‬
Animals (tags: endangered, Wolves, Idaho, Trappers, Bantraps, SaveWolves, wildlife, slaughter, killing, law, cruelty, animals, AnimalWelfare, abuse, habitat, environment, protection, humans, investigation, conservation, crime, death, sadness, society, suffering, wildanimals )
http://www.care2.com/news/member/123562948/3964602

Wolf advocates warn U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of coming lawsuit

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
Wolves from the Welcome Creek pack prowl the Sapphire Mountains south of Missoula in this Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks photo from 2011. Research over the past 10 years shows that non-lethal techniques and aggressive early response to livestock killings can effectively manage wolves.

A coalition of wolf advocates has warned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that they plan to sue if the agency doesn’t extend its supervision of wolf populations in Montana and Idaho another five years.

“When the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is offering five tags to every wolf hunter and Idaho Fish and Game is putting sharpshooters in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness and funding aerial gunning in the Lolo Zone, we feel renewing another five years of federal monitoring is warranted,” said Matthew Koehler of Missoula-based Wild West Institute, one of five groups putting FWS on notice. “Given the situation on the ground and the ways state policy is changing, we think the prudent thing to do is keep monitoring wolf populations so they’re not hunted and trapped back to the brink of extinction.

The Center for Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project, Friends of the Clearwater and Cascadia Wildlands joined Wild West Institute in the notice. By law, groups objecting to a federal agency must give it 60 days advance warning to offer time to craft a solution before going to court.

Gray wolves were extirpated from the continental U.S. in early 20th century. The Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduced wolves in remote areas of Idaho and Yellowstone National Park in 1994 and 1995. The wolves were protected under the federal Endangered Species Act until 2011, when Congress passed a provision removing their listed status in Idaho and Montana. However, FWS personnel were required to monitor wolf populations for five years after giving state wildlife agencies local control of the species.

Wolves remain a federally protected species in Wyoming, Washington, Oregon and the Great Lakes region. Congress is considering several provisions to change or remove those protections this year.

In early January, Idaho Department of Fish and Game workers improperly collared two wolves in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness along the Montana border while carrying out a helicopter-assisted elk-collaring project. The agency reported the incident to the U.S. Forest Service, which suspended Idaho’s permission for further helicopter work in the wilderness pending a review of the state’s practices.

Idaho has also maintained a state-sponsored wolf-removal program in addition to a public wolf hunting season.

In Montana, resident hunters may buy up to five wolf licenses a season for $19 each. The state removed its annual quotas on wolf seasons in 2012.
https://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/…/wolf-advocates-…/

56cf4cdeb817c.image
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Trapping, the barbaric “sport”
By George Wuerthner

Years ago I was backpacking in Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness with my friend, Rod, and his Malamute, Jake. Like most dogs, Jake was happily running ahead of us investigating this and that. Suddenly Jake let out a sharp cry and began yipping from someplace up ahead in the brush. We rushed to him to find with his leg snared in a giant leg-hold bear trap set by a deer carcass. This trap was the size of a car tire. We desperately tried to free him from the trap, but even with the two of us trying to open the contraption, the springs were just too stiff and we couldn’t get Jake’s leg out. So Rod and I took turns carrying 100 pound Jake on our shoulders, along with the heavy trap plus our backpacks, to our car so we could rush him to a vet.

The vet had to get a special trap opener to compress the springs so we could open the jaws enough to remove Jake’s leg. Jake was lucky. Because the trap’s teeth were so large, Jake’s leg was caught wedged between the teeth instead of having it go through his leg. He fully recovered from the experience. But most pets and nearly all wildlife are not so lucky.

There was no sign indicating the presence of the trap, nor any other effort to warn people of the lurking danger. Had either one of us stepped into the track, we might have suffered serious damage. Unfortunately the trapping of wild animals is a legal activity in all of the United States. In fact, I am not aware of a single state “wildlife” agency that doesn’t promote trapping, instead of questioning its legitimacy. It’s amazing to me that in this day and age we still allow this barbaric activity to be justified in the name of “sport”. Leg-hold traps and snares are particularly treacherous devices. Animals caught in such traps suffer pain, exposure to weather, dehydration and often a long painful death. Snares are even more gruesome with animals slowly strangling to death as the wire noose tightens. How is it that cock and dogfights are now illegal and yet we permit state wildlife agencies to sanction an equally cruel activity?

The statistics are astounding. More than 4 million animals are trapped for “fun” each year, many enduring immense suffering in the process. Millions more are trapped as “nuisances” or die as “non-target” animals. For example more than 700 black bear are snagged each year in Oregon as “nuisance” animals by timber companies (because in the spring bears eat the inner cambium layer of trees).

Only a few states have banned the use of leg-hold traps for sport trapping and then usually only through citizen initiative process. Yet 90 countries around the world have banned these traps and the entire European Union has banned these contraptions. Most trapping targets “fur bearer” animals like lynx, musk rat, beaver, marten, fisher, river otter, weasel, mink, bobcat, red fox, coyote, and bears, and in some states like Idaho and Alaska, trappers also take wolves. Most of these animals are important predators in their own right, and help to promote healthier ecosystems in many, many ways from the way that wolves reduce the negative impact of large herbivores like elk to reduction of rodent populations by coyotes. Thus indiscriminate trapping disrupts natural ecological processes, often in ways we don’t appreciate.

And while most trappers might scoff at the idea, their “enjoyment” of trapping comes at the expense of the pleasure of other wildlife lovers who might rather see a red fox scampering across a field, a river otter swimming in a stream or hear a coyote howling in the night than see it’s skinned and fur used for frivolous purposes like clothing—we have other alternatives to fur.

The major arguments used by trappers to defend the legitimacy of their “sport” can largely be refuted. One argument is that trapping promotes family time, learning about nature and gets people outdoors. However, there are many other ways to spend time together as a family, learn about nature or to get outdoors that does not involve traumatizing animals.

Another argument is that if we don’t kill the animals, they will overpopulate and die of starvation and/or disease. If you believe this line of self-justification, trappers are really acting out of a sense of mission, responsibility and kindness by killing animals to save them from a greater misery. Beyond the obvious rationalization of such assertions, a problem with this logic that not all animals, or animals in all places are in jeopardy of overpopulation. And trapping doesn’t necessarily remove the animals that are most likely to die from these natural events.

A third justification often heard in trapping circles and from state wildlife agencies, is trapping helps to remove “problem” animals—beaver that clog up culverts or coyotes preying on livestock. There are numerous issues with this line of reasoning. The first is that trapping, as practiced by most “sport” trappers, is indiscriminate. They are not taking the specific animals that may be “problematic”. Most trapping is random, killing any animal unfortunate enough to wander into a trap.

Beyond that, because agencies like to promote trapping (some like Wildlife Services entire existence is dependent upon having “problem” animals to kill) there is little incentive to educate or even regulate the public so that conflicts are not created in the first place. In many cases, the “problem” is “problem humans”. So livestock producers who fail to adequately monitor their animals and utilize guard animals along with lambing/calving sheds, have more issues with coyotes. Honey producers who do not use electric fences around their beehives have issues with bears. And so on.

Not every instance can be alleviated by some creative action by humans, but in most case we don’t even try because neither the government wildlife agencies nor the trappers want solutions other than trapping and the broader excuse for trapping that they believe these so called “problems” justify. In those instances, where changing human behavior fails to reduce conflicts, we may have no choice but to rely upon the surgical removal of “specific” animals, not the wholesale killing of any animal that happens to have a fur coat. And such removal should be done in the most humane way possible.

http://www.friendsoftheclearwater.org/trapping-the-barbari…/
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Idaho must alter lynx trapping, court says

TUESDAY, JAN. 12, 2016, 1:10 P.M.

By Rich Landers

http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2016/jan/12/idaho-must-alter-lynx-trapping-court-says/

Canada lynx. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Canada lynx. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

WILDLIFE — In a lawsuit filed by animal protection groups, a federal judge has ruled that Idaho’s regulations for trapping furbearers in North Idaho violate the Endangered Species Act by allowing the inadvertent capture of federally protected Canada lynx.

Here are details from the Associated Press:

The 26-page decision made public Monday in U.S. District Court requires Idaho to propose a plan within 90 days that protects lynx in the Panhandle and Clearwater regions.

“We hope Idaho will now recognize that these rare and beautiful animals need more protection than the state has been willing to grant them,” Andrea Santarsiere, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

The Center, the Western Watersheds Project, Friends of the Clearwater and WildEarth Guardians filed the lawsuit in June 2014 asking that lethal body-crushing traps and snares be made illegal. The groups also want to limit the size of foothold traps in lynx habitat and require daily checks of traps.

Named in the lawsuit are Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho Department of Fish and Game Director Virgil Moore, and members of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission.

Fish and Game spokesman Mike Keckler said Monday the agency is reviewing the decision and couldn’t comment.

The Idaho Trappers Association intervened on behalf of the state.

“I believe the judge made a mistake,” said the group’s president, Patrick Carney. He said if all the limits the conservations groups want on trapping are put in place, it would greatly limit trapping in the regions.

“If they implement all that, wolf trapping is over, and so is all of the other trapping,” he said.

Besides wolves, other animals legal to trap in Idaho include coyotes, bobcats, otters, beavers, foxes, marten and mink.

The conservation groups in the lawsuit said trapping in Idaho has increased from about 650 licenses issued in the 2001-2002 season to more than 2,300 in recent years. Officials say that at least four lynx have been trapped in Idaho since 2012. One was killed after a trapper mistook it for a bobcat.

Judge B. Lynn Winmill in his ruling found that trappers likely would capture additional lynx in the Panhandle and Clearwater regions through inadvertent trapping.

The conservation groups sought to limit trapping based on potential lynx encounters in other parts of the state as well. But Winmill rejected that argument, noting that the record didn’t support inadvertent trapping of lynx in those areas.

Canada lynx weigh about 20 pounds and have large paws that give them an advantage in both pursuing prey and eluding predators when traveling across snow. They feed primarily on snowshoe hares and are believed to number in the hundreds in the continental U.S. It’s unclear how many are in Idaho.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed lynx in the continental U.S. as threatened with extinction in 2000.

UPDATES IN THE WORLD OF FOOTLOOSE MONTANA!

 

2/29/2016 

http://www.footloosemontana.org/

https://www.gofundme.com/dyqky7ng

 

 

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Greetings friends of Footloose Montana! Spring is just around the corner, so it’s a perfect occasion to talk about the group that works everyday to protect your pets and public lands, Footloose Montana!

First off we’d like to say thank you to everyone who donated to us over the holiday season. You are true heroes to the people, pets and wildlife of Montana. We couldn’t continue to educate the public about the dangers of trapping without your generous support.

Second, we’re excited to announce that we’ve finally found the time to completely overhaul our website! Every page has been updated, and there is TONS of great information and resources on there… so check it out after you read the letter here!

We’ve been oh so hard at work already in 2016. With close to 10 workshops already this year, it’s safe to say that 2016 is going to be the biggest year ever for Footloose. We’ve been in Billings, Bozeman, Whitefish, Red Lodge, Livingston, and Missoula already this year, and we’re coming to Bigfork on March 8th and Helena March 10th! Make sure to email

info@footloosemontana.org if you’d like to set up a workshop in your area! We also have a Footloose Film and Dance night coming up at the Roxy Theater in May, so keep your eye on the website and Facebook for more information!

 

On a more somber note, we know that fur trapping has been going on in full force around Montana. Some species have been trapped over quota, and we’ve already seen over 10 dogs and 2 cats trapped

just since January 1st. There was also a close call with children finding foothold traps set near some apartments in Missoula. We must continue to educate the public about this environmentally atrocious and barbarically cruel practice. So let us know where we need to be. We’re looking for opportunities for Spring 2016. Is there an area near you that could use some help with beaver fencing? Do you know an area where traps are causing trouble for pets and recreating humans? Does your hometown need a trap-release workshop? Maybe you are hosting an event and you’d like to have Footloose there with a table…just let us know!

 

Thank you again so much for your continued support, we couldn’t do it without you. We are here to serve the good people, pets and wildlife of Montana, so please feel free to contact us anytime.

Keep reading for more news from around Montana!

-Best Regards, Chris and Footloose Montana

 

 

 

BALLOT INITIATIVE UPDATE

 

We still get questions about Initiative I-177, the ballot initiative written by Footloose members that would ban commercial and recreational fur-trapping on Montana’s public lands. They are actively gathering signatures and raising funds, but are their own entity. If you are looking for information, you must contact that separate committee. Thanks!

Email: montanatrapfree@gmail.com

Website: www.montanatrapfree.org

Gofundme Donations Page:https://www.gofundme.com/dyqky7ng

 

Service Spotlight: Crush!

Crush lost his leg in trap near Great Falls on Christmas Eve, and then had to undergo a high amputation. But the folks at Pet Paw-See in Great Falls took care of him for over two months, and he was just adopted yesterday by a member of the Footloose family! Welcome home, Crush!

U.S. House of Representatives Approves Bill Slashing Wildlife Protections

copyrighted wolf in water

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2016/sportsmens-act-02-26-2016.html

 ‘Sportsmen’s Heritage Act’ Threatens Wolves, Elephants, Polar Bears, Birds, People

WASHINGTON— In a partisan vote, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed the so-called “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” that would end federal protection for gray wolves in Wyoming and the western Great Lakes. The bill includes a grab bag of additional special-interest provisions that primarily benefit the livestock industry, National Rifle Association and those who peddle elephant ivory. More than 60 conservation organizations signed an open letter opposing the Sportsmen’s Act.

“There’s nothing sporting about wolf slaughter, elephant poaching or lead poisoning,” said Brett Hartl, endangered species policy director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “In the Sportsmen’s Bill, House Republicans have once again ignored science and protected special interests instead of wildlife.”

One of the many bad provisions of the bill not only strips protection from wolves but forbids court challenges. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service illegally stripped federal protections from gray wolves in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota in 2011 and in Wyoming in 2012. Federal judges overturned both decisions for failing to follow the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, failing to follow the best available science and for prematurely turning management over to state fish and game agencies that are openly hostile to wolves. A provision in today’s bill would preempt those court decisions, stop the current appeal process, and permanently end federal protections for gray wolves in Wyoming and the Great Lakes.

A separate provision of the Sportsmen’s Act would stop a proposed regulation from the Fish and Wildlife Service designed to curtail the ivory trade inside the United States, which is the second-largest market in the world for ivory, after China. Elephant populations across Africa have plummeted due to the ongoing poaching epidemic, with forest elephants declining by 60 percent over the last decade. The illegal trade in elephant ivory funnels millions of dollars to the black market, fueling corruption and funding conflict in African nations.

“If this misguided legislation is enacted into law, elephants are likely to go extinct in our lifetime,” said Hartl. “Republicans are sacrificing one of the most magnificent animals ever to walk the Earth to protect the ability of a few rich collectors to keep their ivory trinkets.”

Similarly, the bill creates a dangerous loophole that allows trophy-hunted polar bears to be imported. Two-thirds of polar bears are expected to be wiped out by 2050 due to climate change, and the species is predicted to near extinction by the end of the century.

Another provision of the Sportsmen’s Bill would permanently exempt lead fishing tackle from any regulation under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Lead is an extremely toxic substance that is dangerous to people and wildlife at almost all levels. Animals are poisoned when they eat lost fishing weights, mistaking them for food or grit; some die a painful, rapid death from lead poisoning, while others suffer for years from its slowly debilitating effects.

“There is no safe level of lead in the environment. This provision will result in more poisoned wildlife — hardly what any real sportsmen would want,” said Hartl. “We phased lead out of waterfowl ammunition, paint, gasoline and toys. It’s time for Congress to stop catering to industry and start looking out for the health of the American people and our wildlife.”

Since the Republicans took control of the House in 2011 there have been hundreds of legislative attacks on the environment, including more than 177 on endangered species and the Endangered Species Act. In 2015 more than 70 bills targeted endangered species. Republicans also introduced legislation designed to limit the ability of citizens to go to court in defense of species. Earlier this year the Center released a report documenting a 600 percent increase in these legislative attacks since the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizens United ruling allowing special interests to make virtually unlimited campaign contributions.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 990,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

The Commission of Evil

by Stephen Capra

The Commission of Evil
Stephen Capra

In a crowded room at the Santa Fe Community College last Thursday, we were witness to the latest failure of a commission designed to support and enhance wildlife in our state. The question before them was the continued use of Ted Turner’s ranch as a staging area for the release of the Mexican wolf.

This commission was clearly wary, after an earlier meeting in November on this subject; they found themselves shouted down by citizens, who were disgusted by the commission’s actions, and their determination to slaughter all wolves in our state. This time they took great strides to state that wolves were here to stay, that really the issue here was a technicality; one that their arcane system sadly could not support, but, hey, we can find a way forward at a later date.

Translation: we will defuse the situation now, and continue to obfuscate wolf recovery in every way possible. Our newest commissioner, Elizabeth Atkinson Ryan, an oil and gas attorney from Roswell and a member of the Safari Club ( a group that kills wildlife internationally for trophies,) made a long and grating explanation of why they could not change the Chairman’s decision to deny permit renewal for Turner’s Ladder Ranch. At times, other commissioners chimed in with their message that they supported wolves but “unfortunately” they could not support Turner, well because, they just could not break ranks with the Chairman, but hey, “we support wolves.”

This was met with ‘sardonic’ laughter from the audience, many of whom have witnessed the complete slaughter of wildlife at the hands of these seven republican cowards. Several minute later, they voted 7-0 to end the release program at Turner’s Ranch, while loudly inviting them to reapply and “meet this commission half way.”

The real question in all of this is clear: how much longer must we allow this commission to exist? How much longer can we allow the indiscriminate killing of wildlife to continue?

Aldo Leopold fought our Governors at the turn of the last century to allow the choice of the Game Warden to be controlled by sportsmen. After a bruising battle, he lost and the Governor continued to select Wardens; usually a perk to a major donor. Little has changed in the past century, only now we have a commission of seven people, none of whom have a real concept of biodiversity.

It is biodiversity that must be at the core of every decision; that is why the concept of a commission has long ago grown “archaic,” in Chairman Kienzle’s own words. We do not need a commission controlled by sportsmen, ranchers or oil and gas interests. We need an agency run by a director, that is given a clear mission: every action we take must be taken to enhance biodiversity.

Wolves in our state face one clear future if commissions such as this remain; there will be a hunting season and that is a disaster for wolves in the wild. There will be a trapping season on wolves and that is a moral outrage. There will be a continued spreading of ignorance and fear about an animal that is perfectly designed to enhance biodiversity and improve the natural balance of wildlife, while improving the land.

At Bold Visions Conservation, our mission for the past several years has been to disband this commission. Their actions and appointments are slaughtering wolves, bears, mountain lions and coyotes. They are not here to enhance wildlife, but to cater to special interests in the livestock, oil and gas and fringe farming communities. They speak of hunting as though it was a 365 day a year enterprise. They want our children to learn to kill, to trap and to carry the same disregard for animals that they display every meeting.

The saying goes you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. This commission represents nothing but pure evil. They are a group of political insiders that relish their role in the slaughter of innocent wildlife. There is no redemption, no reason to hope things will change, and we must simply end their reign of terror.

We must also work to change the charter of the State Game and Fish Department which currently is a rambling statement of support for off-road vehicles, shooting wild game, support trapping, etc. This mission needs to focus like a laser on one thing: enhancing biodiversity!

Disbandment and Game & Fish Department reform will not happen overnight, but if we are to truly help wildlife and improve our lands and waters, we cannot accept the status quo. We must create this change for the next generation; it is our gift and our moral imperative for our children and the generations to come: a gift and action of respect, to the animals that so enhance our lives.

MT Trapping Updates

FUR PRICES DOWN!!!
“That’s right – low, low fur prices.  Bottom of the barrel.  In most cases, fur will sell for far less than what you’ll spend to trap it.”
Why are fur prices going to be so low?  Two words.  China and Russia.  Those two countries basically control the modern world market for wild fur because their citizens purchase the vast majority of the garments produced with the fur we trap.” Prices for dead Coyote, Beaver, Pine Marten, Bobcat, Wolves and Fisher are expected to hold. Trappers are claiming they are simply stockpiling the rest.
Trapping Today’s 2015-2016 Fur Market Update


Photo courtesy Montana Trappers Association, “fur auction, small”.
Reproduced for educational purposes.

TRAPPING DISTRICT CLOSURES
Hopefully  our  monitoring the quota harvest reports  for Montana furbearers have helped spare more unnecessary trapping deaths for Otter and Bobcat.

Bobcat is now closed in Districts 1, 2, 3, i.e. Northwestern, Western and Southwestern Montana. District 3 closed 8 over quota. Historically, over half of the 7 districts, including these three have gone over quota. In 2013/14, i.e. 62 extra bobcats were reported killed in the Districts 1,2,3,5. We especially appreciate FWP taking a proactive stance and closing District 2. In 6 years, from the 2008 through the 2013/14 bobcat trapping season a minimum of 11,062 bobcats were killed in Montana.


It might not seem much to save even one, but it is everything to that one. We don’t know how many might have gotten killed over the quota. Thanks for making those calls and being the voice for Otters, too!

ANOTHER KILLING CONTEST
A repeat of last January predator trapping and hunting killing contest, sponsored by groups such as Montana Trapper’s Association (MTA), but this time instead of for a weekend, it ran from Jan 8 to Jan 17th. We did not accept the MTA request  that we post the flyer fearing it would only draw more attention, more participation to their killing contest. That does not mean we are not following up on  this. Note they do not call it a killing contest but that does not make it less so! More to come.

EXPOSURE OF CRUEL UGLY TRAPPING
The much awaited article,  America’s trapping boom relies on cruel and grisly tool,  by award winner journalist, Tom Knudson, sheds more light on what becomes of millions of animals, annually, and in particular Bobcat, here out West, in the disturbing significant world of trapping. “Every year, 150,000 trappers here capture and kill up to 7 million wild animals, more than any nation on earth. In all, more than 20 species are targeted for their fur, from foxes to raccoons, coyotes to river otters. But it is the spotted, marble-white fur of one animal that has sparked a Wild West-like trapping boom in recent years.” We were honored to help with Tom’s informative investigation and trust exposure and increased awareness will lead to an end of trapping. Be sure to check out the link to the video of the a leghold trap snapping shut on various items.


Credit: Max Whittaker for Reveal

EFFORTS TO PROTECT FISHER
The rare fisher is getting closer to federal protections under the ESA. Legally trapped still in Montana, other Fishers, too, here have fallen victim as “incidental” “non-targets”. In December of 2014, a Fisher was killed in a conibear trap set for Pine Marten in the Bitterroots. More info to come on how you can help. Click to read  “Northern Rockies Fishers One Step Closer to Endangered Species Act Protection.

PETS CONTINUE TO GET TRAPPED IN MONTANA
An Akita was recently caught for days in a leghold trap set for wolves near Alberton, Montana. The dog was reportedly missing for six days!  Solid ice had to be chipped away from the trap to free the dog. The trapper was cited for not checking his wolf traps for the required 48 hours but will he have to pay the vet bills? The dog will most likely lose its leg.

Searching for the perfect Christmas tree, Petty Creek, near Alberton, a Chihuahua,  Dutley, was caught in a leghold trap, and luckily was released quickly apparently uninjured.

A dog was caught in a snare while accompanied fortunately close by its owner. Ghost town in Drummond.

Trap reports for Bracket Creek area north of Bozeman, Flathead national forest, Pleasant Valley……..

For updates see Trap Alerts  on our website.
Pets have us to look out for them but what of the average 60,000 reported wildlife annually trapped and killed in Montana that legally cannot be rescued and helped?

ANIMAL PLANET DOCUMENTARY FOR TRAPPERS?
Just in, Montana Trappers Association says because “of your relentless attacks on trapping” they have signed to do a trapping documentary with Animal Planet.  Imagine what kind of planet animals would succumb to if trappers had their way. It’s incompatible for a show that features the wonderous animals we share this planet with and their sponsors to promote such cruelty and trapping myths.  More to come on what you can do.

DAILY HAPPENINGS
Like, follow us, and invite friends on Facebook and be sure to check out our website www.trapfreemt.org for ongoing educational information, updates and our online store to purchase, i.e. “Ranger” story of a wolf, t-shirts.

Please lend a hand, be our eyes and ears, promote TFMPL, collaborate with us and let us know you how you are willing to do more for wildlife! 

Thank you Friends of Trap Free Montana Public Lands

Tis the ugly season of prevalent trapping!

trrapped-wolf-facebook
Recently a missing Golden was caught in a trap for 3 days up Sweeney Creek Loop, Florence area. She broke off several teeth biting the leghold trap to try to free herself. Her foot was badly swollen. She has been reunited with her owner.

Today, Sunday, a 30 lb dog, Molly, is now reported missing up Sweeney Creek. On Wed, Dec 15th, the legal trapping of wolves in Montana begins resulting in a whole new arsenal of leghold weaponry of mass destruction will be out on the lands.

Trappers are not required to assist trapped pets. They only have to report any they trap within 24 hrs to FWP. They have no required trap check interval though, except for wolf trap sets must be visibly checked every 48 hours.

Be sure to check with the regional Montana FWP office if your pet is missing. To see contact numbers visit our website at http://www.trapfreemt.org/about-trapping/incidental-trapped-dog-reports-montana

Please share with us any areas of known, spotted or suspicious trapping.

Thank you Friends of Trap Free Montana Public Lands

Activist calls for removal of leg-hold traps on public lands

Activist calls for removal of leg-hold traps on public lands

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/life/features/activist-calls-for-removal-of-leg-hold-traps-on-public/article_244c1088-fc31-5ad1-bf6b-b06f9cbbc585.html#.Vm2qoPjl6N4.facebook

Z Jacobson of Santa Fe walks Friday with her dogsNoodles on Dead Dog Trail off Old Buckman Road, where Noodles got caught in a trap. The experience has turned Jacobson into an activist, with a goal of banning leg-hold traps on public lands. Luis Sánchez Saturno/The New Mexican

Posted: Saturday, December 12, 2015 

Z Jacobson was hiking with her dogs, Noodles and Lulu, and a friend along a new trail off Old Buckman Road in the Santa Fe National Forest on Thanksgiving Day.

It’s ominously called Dead Dog Trail, and it leads to the top of the Caja del Rio Plateau. Jacobson’s friend had helped build it, and she was interested in touring a couple of canyons along the way said to contain rock art.

During the hike, they walked over to a cliff and were admiring the view when Jacobson heard what she described as “tremendous, horrible screaming” from her dog, whose right front paw was caught in a steel trap she said was about 30 feet from the trail. Noodles, a black-and-white border collie mix, was struggling futilely to free herself.

Noodles has since recovered, but the experience has turned Jacobson into an activist against leg-hold traps on public lands. She’s been warning friends who walk their dogs off-leash and has spoken to anti-trapping groups. She also sent out a message asking members of her local hiking group to sign Trap Free New Mexico’s petition calling on the State Game Commission to ban trapping on public lands and to better regulate traps. The group is a coalition of conservation and animal welfare groups that says trapping regulations are outdated and put citizens, pets and other species at risk.

Jacobson said she wasn’t able to free Noodles from the trap on Dead Dog Trail because she’d recently undergone shoulder surgery and couldn’t use her arm. But her friend was able to get Noodles out of the trap. Fortunately, the device didn’t have teeth, or the injuries would have been much worse, Jacobson said. Her dog limped for a few days but is now walking fine. She did, however, lose part of her ear in her fight to escape.

When Jacobson called the state Game and Fish Department to report the trap, she said, she learned that such devices are legal on public lands in New Mexico, although they must be marked with the trapper’s identification, and they cannot be placed within 25 yards of a trail or road. It is illegal to destroy them.

A spokesman for Game and Fish said an officer visited the scene and determined the trap was legally set. The officer also said the trap was 400 yards from the nearest maintained trail, not as close as Jacobson estimated.

“I’m in shock, horrified about the whole thing,” Jacobson said.

Many people have responded to her effort to ban trapping, vowing to sign Trap Free New Mexico’s petition. Kay Nease, one hiking club member who supports Jacobson’s movement, said, “This is very disturbing that traps are anywhere and — even worse — close to hiking trails.”

Efforts to ban trapping on public lands in the 2013 and 2015 sessions of the Legislature failed. The bills never even got out of their first committee. And in recent years, the State Game Commission actually has expanded trapping opportunities in New Mexico.

In 2011, the commission approved a recommendation from wildlife managers to end a trapping ban in southwestern New Mexico, where federal officials have reintroduced the Mexican gray wolf, an endangered subspecies. And starting next April, the state will begin allowing random trapping of cougars for sport across 70 percent of New Mexico, including 9 million acres of state trust land.

Jessica Johnson of Animal Protection Voters of New Mexico said this was done despite overwhelming opposition to trapping among New Mexicans. A poll of more than 1,000 voters conducted by Remington Research Group prior to the new cougar rule found that 69 percent of registered voters oppose the use of traps — on both public and private land.

Jacobson returned recently to Dead Dog Trail to look for the trap. She and her friend had piled stones on top of it before leaving on Thanksgiving Day. When she got there, she found the stones had been removed and the trap reset. She stuck her hiking pole in it, she said, and “it snapped so hard, I realized what my poor dog had gone through.”

Jacobson said she thinks the trapper was trying to snare coyotes for their pelts. The trap was set along what looked to her like an animal trail. Part of the goal of Trap Free New Mexico is to get protected status for coyotes and skunks or to make them subject to animal cruelty laws.

Opponents to leg-hold traps say that between two and 10 nontargeted animals are trapped for every targeted animal that is captured. A 2011 investigation in New Mexico by a group called Born Free USA found that cougar cubs and black bears were some of the animals illegally caught in the traps.

Activists don’t agree with claims by proponents of trapping that the practice keeps wildlife populations balanced and controls disease, and they are concerned that many people are injured trying to release a trapped animal.

John Horning, executive director of WildEarth Guardians, said, “We are realistic. We are in this for the long haul. But we are also hopeful knowing that most people in New Mexico find this outrageous.”

Horning said Colorado and Arizona already ban trapping on public land, and so does Los Alamos County. New Mexico is also an outlier in that its trapping season is one of the longest in the West. And trappers are not even required to post signs on public lands to inform people where the traps are set, he said.

Last season, 1,768 licenses ($20 each for state residents) were issued by the state to trap fur-bearing animals, a long tradition in New Mexico. According to the Game and Fish Department, about 5,000 individual fur-bearers were harvested. There is no mandatory reporting requirement for unprotected fur-bearing species such as coyotes.

“I want to be active in trying to stop this,” Jacobson said. “We’re not able to stop trappers. But we shouldn’t be trapping on public land. That’s just wrong.”

MT TRAP-RELEASE WORKSHOP SERIES

You’re invited to attend the
FOOTLOOSE WINTER TRAP-RELEASE WORKSHOP SERIES!
Coming soon to your area!
Hello friends of Montana’s pets and wildlife! We wanted to make you aware of some exciting events coming up in your area. We are planning a series of trap release workshops statewide. If you have never attended a trap-release workshop, we strongly encourage you to do so. There is no better way to learn how to spot traps in the wild, how to protect your pets from traps and how to release them in worst-case scenarios. This is also a great chance to meet like-minded individuals and to learn more about the current trapping situation in Montana. If you have attended a workshop before, its still a good opportunity to get a refresher, bring a friend, or make some new friends…so we hope to see you all there!

Workshops are free and open to the public, although we do ask that you bring a can of food for the local food bank, or pet food for the humane society. So check out the schedule below, and if we aren’t doing a workshop in your area contact us so we can set one up!

Best regards,

Chris and Footloose Montana

WORKSHOP SCHEDULE
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9th 6:30pm@ Billings Public Libary (Billings, MT)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 15th 6pm@ Bozeman Public Library (Bozeman, MT)

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16th 6pm @ The Shane Center (Livingston, MT)

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6th 6pm@ Whitefish Public Library (Whitefish, MT)
IN THE WORKS
GREAT FALLS (JANUARY 2016)
KALISPELL (JANUARY 2016)
Please consider donating to help us with the costs associated with putting on workshops! Your donation is 100% tax deductible…

Alaska Confirms Massive Decline in Rare Wolves, Still Plans to Hunt Them

Another harvest could do irreversible damage to the wolf population.

Alexander Archipelago wolf. (Photo: Facebook)
Jun 20, 2015
by Samantha Cowan

In 1994, southeast Alaska was home to about 300 Prince of Wales wolves, a subspecies of Alexander Archipelago wolves. By 2013, there were fewer than 250. Last year the population plummeted 60 percent to 89 wolves. New numbers confirm that the rare breed may have dropped to as few as 50.

But the diminishing numbers won’t stop hunters from trapping and killing the wolves, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is moving ahead with its 2015–2016 hunting and trapping season on Prince of Wales Island.

“Another open season of trapping and hunting could push these incredibly imperiled wolves over the edge,” Shaye Wolf, a biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.

A reported 29 wolves were killed during last year’s hunting season—which accounts for between 33 and 58 percent of the population. Either figure means the species is in danger of being completely wiped out, especially as females were hit particularly hard this season…

More: http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/06/20/alaska-wolves

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