Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Signature Gathering in Helena for I-160

For the past week I've been helping Montana Trap Free Public Lands gather signatures in Helena for their ballot initiative, I-160. The initiative would prohibit the commercial and recreational trapping of wild animals on public lands in Montana. Yes, this old cruel sport still continues...
This initiative has been approved not only by the Attorney General's Office, but by FWP's lawyer.

Trapping not only hurts wildlife, but has killed many many peoples' dogs and even people have stepped in these traps not knowing they were there because it's NOT a law to mark traps. The laws for trapping are extremely lax.

Trappers make up only a few thousand people in the state. Less than .5 of 1% of the population in MT traps. Yet, there are literally 10's of thousands of traps on public lands--which make up only 35% of the state.

Gathering signatures has surprisingly been easy. There are always 1 or 2 people on a given day who are upset with the initiative for many reasons:

  • Trapping is someones livelihood.
  • Public land is open to ALL forms of recreation.
  • If adults, kids, or pets get caught in a trap the adults or parents are "idiots" and irresponsible for not watching where they go, keeping an eye on their kids or putting their dog on a leash.
I've met lots of people who know someone whose dog has been caught in a trap. I've also met people who don't even know trapping is legal.

There are ALOT of people who dislike trapping as this public opinion poll in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle shows.

The public doesn't want trapping to continue on public lands. Why should a few thousand people in this state have TOTAL control over them? This is why America has provided its citizens with the power to change old out-dated laws.

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