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Trappers should not manage animals

Trappers should not manage animals

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Open space, wilderness, federally managed parks and refuges are a rare commodity. I grew up hunting, fishing and taking photographs on public lands. I disagree with the American Lands Council and by fellowship the Montana Trappers Association, who want to transfer and develop federal lands. Instead, I am promoting increased safety and sane management of our public lands with the passage of Initiative 177.

During the Great Depression, Remington would give you a free box of shotgun shells if you sent in so many ears from predators like owls and eagles. Today eagles and owls are protected and it is illegal to take them without a permit. However, if you trap an owl or eagle, it’s called collateral damage and there are no consequences. That means trappers have special privileges not extended to other sports.

We should not be confusing the political agendas of the few for the safety and recreational enjoyment of the many. Fish, Wildlife and Parks should manage the harvesting of fur bearing animals, not be managed by trappers.

I-177 allows trapping by scientists and government agencies, and allows trapping on public lands to protect livestock and property, but requires that traps must be checked every 24 hours and have signs prominently displayed where a trap is placed. We will be able to enjoy the great outdoors without fear that our dogs and non-target species will walk into hidden traps. Protect the joy and safety of public lands. Vote for and yes to I-177.

Linda Helding,

Missoula

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