There’s an unfortunate misconception among some in our state these days about trappers and trapping. And while I know there are those who dislike the very idea of an animal being harvested for any reason, it is vital that Montanans who are being asked to sign a petition to ban trapping know what they are signing — and know some facts about trapping.
Today, trappers play a vital role in effective wildlife management. Banning trapping on public lands takes away that tool — one that wildlife managers will tell you they count on as much as they count on the trappers themselves. Elk hunters and ranchers know that controlling predator populations is critical to raising livestock and ensuring healthy game populations in our backcountry. By attacking trapping, out-of-state special interest groups are simultaneously threatening ranching and hunting.
I hope Montanans will stand up to special interests and make sure we maintain our ability to effectively manage wolf and coyote populations, along with sustaining our healthy populations of beaver, bobcat and other furbearers. These special interest groups want to pit the people of Montana against their nearly 7,000 neighbors who are trappers and the nearly 300,000 hunters and anglers in our great state by spreading misinformation and trying to get citizens to sign a petition for I-169.
As a life-long hunter, angler and trapper, I urge you to refuse to sign their petition and stand up for our Montana heritage.