As a member of a pioneer ranching family in Montana that uses our public lands to recreate, hunt and fish, I would like to weigh in why my family and myself are in favor of Initiative 177.
Initiative 177 generally prohibits the use of traps and snares for animals on public lands. It does not prevent the use of traps upon private land, nor does it prevent the use of traps by public employees or their agents to protect public health and safety, protect livestock and property, or conduct specified scientific and wildlife management activities. Therefore, public land livestock producers will still be able to request government or state employees to remove problem animals.
By no means does this initiative prevent the public from enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, camping or fishing; if anything, it allows these activities to be pursued even more safely without the fear of our pets or children being injured or killed by a trap.
We find this initiative to be reasonable. Public land belongs to everyone, not just to a select few; therefore, it is the public's right as a whole to determine if recreational trapping should continue or be eliminated from those lands.