Letters to the editor by opponents/trappers are replete with untruths and attempts to misconstrue what Initiative 177 is about. It is not about stopping people from killing skunks or "nuisance" animals. It is not about hunting/culling wolves, which is still governed by the target numbers set by Fish, Wildlife and Parks. It is not about stopping regulatory agencies from monitoring populations by hunts, or trapping, on public land. It is about ending commercial, recreational trapping for money or entertainment on land that belongs to all of us.
While working as a volunteer signature-gatherer in support of getting I-177 on the ballot, many people expressed gratitude that we were making strides towards stopping this inhumane practice. Even camo-wearing men I thought would never endorse I-177 signed the petition, remarking that although they were hunters, they felt trapping was unethical, citing fair chase as their game.
There's no way around it: Catching animals in a steel trap and, if not already dead, stomping on or clubbing them to death to assure no damage to the pelt is savage, heartless and cruel, and should no longer be tolerated by a compassionate society. Let's end this "tradition of torture."