Trapping takes a significant toll on riparian ecology by especially targeting beaver. This means less water and less riparian habitat for all species (humans, songbirds, ungulates, fish, etc.).
Trapping causes excessive suffering.
Trapping is not Fair Chase.
Trapping is indiscriminate and injures and kills rare, threatened, and endangered species – wolverine, lynx, grizzlies, fisher, swift fox, spotted skunk, etc.
Traps are baited and thus attract pets.
Trapping costs us: in lost revenue due to its indirect impact on water resources (esp. in an arid state like Montana), tourism (less wolves and of other wildlife, means less wildlife watching), and the expenses and loss of trapped injured and killed species including the recovery of deciminated species to healthy and biologically sustainable populations.
Traps are a hazard. Trapping is poorly regulated and even unregulated for some species. Unlimited traps and snares are concealed, baited, and no warning signs are required. Trapping is legal year-round in Montana and almost anywhere on our public lands. Trap setbacks, the distance a trap or snare can be set from a public road, trail, or waterway are inadequate or absent.
With very rare exceptions, trapping is no longer done for livelihood. Recreation is wonderful so long as it is responsible and is not predicated upon wanton suffering. That’s why we no longer have gladiators, cock or dog fighting, etc.
Trapping uses a public resource for personal gain without contributing significantly to the public interest, as does hunting. The state income from trapping is negligible. The costs outweigh the benefits. The Montana furbearer department salary and benefits comes from hunting and fishing licenses revenue.
Trapping is NOT an effective management tool, as it causes more problems than it resolves. Non-lethal methods are shown to be longer lasting and more effective in conflict mitigation. Trapping on public lands should be relegated to public safety, used as a last resort, and for scientific research, conducted by well-trained employees adhering to protocols to cause the least harm and with the best interests of the wildlife in mind.