Please vote for I-177

Dear Editor,
This letter is addressing I-177. Please consider voting for this initiative. I feel the concerns I’m sharing with you are extremely important to the reputation of our great state of Montana.
Trapping with the use of steel–jaw leg hold traps is an ancient barbaric act that is considered recreational or commercial; where the animal (many times not even the target animal) is caught and killed so that trappers can rip off the animal’s fur and sell it to the fur fashion industry. With the exception of wolf trapping, our state does not even require trappers to check their traps and snares in any specific period of time.
As a result, these trapped animals can be left lingering in traps and snares for several days and nights while exposed to extreme cold temperatures and left vulnerable and defenseless to any attacks from carnivores who may come by in search of food. These animals suffer in traps until the trapper returns to either stomp, club, strangle or shoot them to death. It is not only that pets and non-target animals can accidently be caught in these traps; I feel it is inhumane for any animal to endure that type of torture, even the “target” animal.
It is simply a no-brainer to me that traps should never be used on public lands where families and pets recreate. They are dangerous, brutal and because many traps are baited and have the potential of luring any animal in, they are indiscriminate and not an effective management tool.
Research also shows there are much better and humane ways of accomplishing what trappers are defending so profusely — besides the obvious of making money.
Please vote for I-177 and help preserve Montana’s reputation for being a beautiful state to visit for its wonderful scenery and magnificent wildlife.
Renelle Braaten
Havre, Mont.



Where is your favorite place to go camping in Central Montana?