3 Letters to the Editor for Trapping Reform Published
Image by Thomas D. Mangelsen
Three Letters to the Editor were published by Jackson Hole News and Guide to voice support for trapping reform. Thank you!
Trapping on public land
There are many locals and visitors who treasure Wyoming’s great wildlife species on our extensive public lands. These species include pine martens, beavers, ermine, badgers, otters, bobcats, mink, red squirrels, etc.
By contrast there are not many people around here who need to trap and kill these esteemed wildlife resources outside of carefully defined areas. Nor is there a significant benefit to our economy — trapping produces almost no local revenue, visitor income, retail trade, outfitting work, table fare or conservation support — unlike hunting activities, which are and should be widely supported.
Very broad trapping setbacks from hiking areas and other area trapping restrictions on our public lands simply make sense. It is not just concern for dogs and other “non-target species” killed or maimed in traps where trapping is far more indiscriminate than hunting aimed at specific species.
Without broad setbacks and area restrictions, wildlife resources should not be compromised in our magnificent public surroundings just so a few people can trap and kill. It is nice to have the critters around, and nice to have ecological balance.
It is public land where there should be fair and proper management balance considering the nature and relative importance of different uses.
Peter F. Moyer
Fur has come back
Most readers of our local newspaper are not aware that real fur is back on the fashion runways. I have heard that a bobcat pelt used to be worth $50 but now can bring $700. Many of the pelts are sent to Asia where the demand is very high. As a consequence, there are more people from all over the country coming to our public lands to trap our native furbearing animals.
Traps can be located almost anywhere on public lands, even right on public trails with no setbacks.
Trappers do not have to post warning signs of traps in the area. They are required to check most of their traps only every three days and with some traps up to 13 days.
Wild animals have been known to chew off a limb to escape. Unfortunately, family pets can end up losing their lives in these cruel devices. Someday we will see a small child lose a limb from stepping on a trap.
The trapper interviewed in last week’s News&Guide is very upset about the attempts to control where he can put his traps. But what about the thousands of hikers and skiers who treasure our public lands and spend countless dollars on equipment and travel expenses? Should we not have a voice in the management of these precious wild places?
It is a reasonable request to require that these traps are kept far away from established trails. Please speak out for our wildlife, children and beloved pets.
Vote on traps
I imagine that if the practice of trapping wildlife were put to a vote in Teton County most people would like to see it eliminated entirely. The chance to see bobcats, otters, ermine, beaver, marten, etc., is one of the beauties of life in our valley.