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Beaver Trapping Rules Tweaked for Jackson Hole Streams

More beavers could soon be trapped in some Jackson Hole streams, while parts of other drainages would be off-limits to trapping to allow populations of the large aquatic rodent to recover.

Trapping regulations approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission last week close all of the Game Creek watershed to beaver trapping, plus much of the Willow Creek and Ditch Creek drainages.

Mosquito, Fall, Dog and Little Horse creeks, meanwhile, will transition from limited-quota areas restricted to a single trapper to unlimited-harvest zones open to any trapper.

The proposed changes, which have evolved since they were first issued, turned heads earlier this year, because theycame after non-trappers had started acquiring the limited licenses and prevented beavers from being trapped.

Jackson Hole resident and Wyoming Untrapped founder Lisa Robertson was among those who won licenses and chose not to trap. She traveled to Rock Springs last week to address commissioners.

“The department decision to open all limited-quota beaver areas to unlimited trapping was questionable,” Robertson told commissioners Thursday, “but we would like to thank the department for responding to our Wyoming take-action public comments to reverse some of the short-sighted proposal.”

The commission’s decision to endorse regulations that have the fingerprints of Wyoming Untrapped is an about-face from the board’s stance in 2015. That year, a furbearer trapping ban that Game and Fish had proposed in the lower Cache Creek drainage was shot down because of the advocacy group’s involvement.

“I would just like to say I do believe this is a first step to try to stop trapping in Wyoming,” former Game and Fish Commissioner Carrie Little said at the time, “and I’m not supportive of regulations that replace personal responsibility that people should have for their pets.”

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