I am writing this letter today in hopes of urging Montana sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts to oppose efforts by animal rights activists to ban trapping on Montana public lands.
There have been efforts in recent years to paint trapping as an outdated “hobby” that serves no purpose. The truth that animal rights activists don’t want you to know is that trapping serves incredibly vital roles in Montana. It ensures that furbearers and their habitat are healthy and sustainable. And it ensures that predator populations are kept in check so as not to cause significant damage to livestock and big game animals. Those of us who truly care about our wildlife and understand the importance of managing their populations and their habitat know what a critical issue this is.
But groups, funded largely by out-of-state animal rights activists, are pushing to get Initiative 169 on the Montana ballot, ignoring the fact that wildlife biologists have repeatedly voiced the need for this activity to protect the very animals these activists claim to represent.
I urge Montana voters: Get the facts before you sign this misguided petition. Visit the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks website, at http://fwp.mt.gov, to learn the truth about the importance of trapping. Talk to the real experts. There’s too much at stake for our state to make this decision based on misinformation.
John R. Wilson