Wyoming Untrapped

California becomes first state to ban fur trapping after Gov. Newsom signs law

LOUIS SAHAGUN,

California has enacted a new ban on fur trapping for animal pelts, making it the first state to outlaw a centuries-old livelihood that was intertwined with the rise of the Western frontier.

The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday, prohibits commercial or recreational trapping on both public and private lands.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who introduced the legislation, said it was time to end fur trapping. “It seems especially cruel, obviously, and it’s just unnecessary and costly,” she said.

Although commercial trapping was an early part of California’s economy, opening the San Francisco Bay Area to international commerce even before the 1848 California Gold Rush, its fortunes have waned over many decades.

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