Montana Trapping At Risk in November Election
This year, Montana voters will have the opportunity to vote on Ballot Initiative I-177, which could prohibit trapping on public lands in Montana. Montana Trappers Association President Toby Walrath is urging the public not to vote for the initiative and says it sets a dangerous precedent.
"That's bad for Montanans because you know we need it for Wildlife Management philosophy and we have fro decades like other states around the country," Walrath said. "The second piece is that this initiative aims to exclude an entire user group from public lands in Montana. That sets a dangerous precedent for lots of user groups."
Walrath also believes the initiative runs contrary to the Montana State Constitution.
"Article 9 Section 7 of our constitution is the Harvest Conservation Act," Walrath said. "If you look a the term harvest, the term has been used numerous times in hunting, fishing, and trapping regulations. Article 9 Section 7 does allow provisions that Montanans should be able to forever harvest wild fish and game and animals in Montana."
Walrath and other trapping supporters have begun a Ballot Initiative Committee called Montanans for Wildlife and Public Lands Access to get out a pro-trapping message in the run up to the November election.