This is a guest blog by Keith Kubista, Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife
This issue is a real concern and we need to make sure not only we are informed but that we talk about it to our friends and family.
I-177, the anti-trapping ban proposed by the animal rights fanatics will be on the November 8th ballot. This wildlife ballot initiative is the prelude to abolish Montana-made hunting, trapping, and fishing rights and negatively impact livestock and agricultural interests.
The animal rights faction here in Montana with the assistance of well financed outside interests will pour hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars into a media onslaught of duplicity. They will target urban population centers and use smear tactics in an attempt to influence voters to change our traditional rural way of life.
These animal rights groups are using the ballot initiative process to impose their values on Montana citizenry by elimination of hunting, fishing and trapping activities they deem inappropriate. These groups should not be allowed to take away our heritage and change the management of Montana’s wildlife resources that are to be managed for benefit of all Montana’s.
I-177 if passed will interfere with Montanans opportunity for access to wildlife for public trust uses. Hunting, trapping, and fishing have long been acknowledged as public uses of the wildlife resource.
We have seen these incessant attacks on trapping here in Montana and in other states that ultimately lost mountain lion and bear hunting, so if you think it cannot happen here you are dead wrong.
It is time to protect what we as Montanans love so much from the social pressure machine who have unlimited funds and an undeniable desire to countermand our customs.
All sportsmen, livestock and other interests need to recognize the common threat I-177 poses and come together as never before to defeat this ominous attack on our traditions.
We must rally the forces necessary to defend our rights and preserve our hunting and trapping heritage that will be taken by I-177, this requires each of us to engage and preserve the real Montana.
Remember what Benjamin Franklin once said, “If we don’t hang together, we will all hang separately”.
Nothing could be more evident as the animal rights throng has publicly stated they will come after trapping first and then hunting.
Vote NO on I-177 – It’s Bad for Wildlife, Bad for Ranchers, and Bad for Montana
Montana’s rich constitutionally protected heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping, is also the most effective means for controlling dangerous predators, preventing the spread of disease and protecting wildlife and livestock from an exploding wolf population. Animal rights activists want to take these decisions away from Montana’s wildlife experts. Vote NO on I-177!
Here’s why I-177 is bad for Montana:
- I-177 is bad for wildlife, costly for cattle and sheep ranchers, bad for taxpayers, and even dangerous for pets and people too!
- I-177 would ban one of the most effective methods for controlling wolves, coyotes, and other predators to protect Montana’s elk, moose and deer populations, as well as livestock.
- Roughly 40% of all wolves harvested in Montana were taken by trapping with nearly half taken on public lands. Without trapping on public lands, wolf numbers will skyrocket causing damage to other wildlife, livestock, and even posing a safety risk to pets and people.
- I-177 would pose a significant public health and disease risk such as rabies, plague and attacks on pets and people, especially young children.
- I-177 is being pushed by the animal rights and anti-hunting lobby whose real agenda is to ban all trapping and all hunting. Montana’s expert wildlife biologists need regulated trapping to continue to protect wildlife, livestock, pets and people.
- That is why I-177 is opposed by Montana’s major sportsmen’s organizations, cattle and sheep ranchers, wildlife management professionals, and more.
- I-177 will cost at least $422,000 in taxpayer money every year for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks to do the same things that trappers currently buy a license to do.
- I-177 would not allow any trapping until after damage or even a tragedy has occurred, and even then, not until non-lethal methods have been tried and documented to be unsuccessful. Meanwhile, dangerous predator populations will continue to grow unchecked.
- Regulated trapping under existing laws is an essential tool for Montana’s wildlife experts, and dates back to the time of Lewis and Clark. It is a cherished family tradition like hunting, fishing, and camping. Let’s keep it that way.
- Vote No on I-177 so Animal Rights activists can’t restrict our use of public lands for any reason! Montana’s public lands belong to everyone, are big enough for everyone to enjoy.
Vote NO on I-177 – It’s Bad for Wildlife, Bad for Ranchers, and Bad for Montana.