Anti-Initiative 177 radio ads are raining down upon Montana. Trappers have numerous connections to organizations with out-of-state tentacles. These organizations have plenty of money to spend on expensive ads.
Trappers claim that if 1-177 becomes law, muskrat and beaver populations will destroy levees and dykes and threaten the railroads. Another ad states that if trapping is eliminated, officials will be forced to put poison on public school grounds and thus endanger children. These falsehoods defy common sense and are a lame attempt to arouse fear.
Trappers claim that wildlife is helped by trapping. This is an extremely distorted view of wildlife management. Trappers resort to many falsehoods to justify their practice. They state that checking traps within a one- or two-day time frame is humane. Some trappers abide by this time period but many do not. A one-day time period is enough time for an animal to chew its limb off.
Trappers persist in the lie that the real agenda of the 1-177 backers is to eliminate hunting. In the 2016 Voter Information Pamphlet, trappers note that Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, hopes to eliminate hunting. The proponents of 1-177 have no direct connection to Pacelle and do not agree with his anti-hunting position.
A number of good old boy organizations with official-sounding names are backing the trappers. These organizations are closely associated with the government organizations that support the trapping status quo. It must be noted that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials have opposed protections for the wolverine. A federal judge had to step in with a 85-page order to protect this rare endangered species.
Numerous attempts have been made to work with the state Legislature to resolve the trapping issue. These efforts have met with no results. This is why a direct mandate from the voters is necessary.